Monday, December 20, 2010

What Natural Body Care Products Do I Use?

I've had a few questions lately about what I use and where I get it.  Some things I'm particular about, because I've tried several products that don't work; and for some things, I buy whatever I can get for a good deal. Products you've never heard of can be difficult to find, not knowing what it looks like, so here are some pictures. In parenthesis after the description is where I get it, it may be available other locations too).
 Burt's Bees - I use the shampoo and wash (tear-free) for the boys and love it. It has a great scent I love too (although, as boys, they may not love it when the get older). But for now, I'll enjoy! (Kroger, Walgreens, and other places)

California Baby Bubble Bath - we use for bubble bath as an occasional treat, particularly when one of them has a cold, as essential oil of eucalyptus can help break up stuffiness and congestion. You could just buy the essential oil and add it to the bath if you want it for that purpose, no fun bubbles though! (Target)

Dr. Bronner's Soap (purple one in the middle) - this one is scented with lavender. I LOVE this for my own body wash and for shaving. I use one of those bath puffs to get it foamy for shaving. Compared to other natural soaps, it's cheap and a little goes a long way, so it lasts a long time. In a regular liquid soap pump, it clogs. As of this week I'm trying putting it in a container with a foaming pump, we'll see how long that works, so far so good. (Kroger or health food store)

XyliBrite Toothpaste - This is by Nature's Sunshine (which I'm a member of to get all my herbs at wholesale prices) and I love this too. It leaves my mouth feeling so fresh and clean, no fluoride! I've tried several bad and expensive toothpastes, this is great and for a reasonable price. (Nature's Sunshine)

Jason Tea Tree Deodorant - I keep trying different kinds and this happens to be what I'm trying right now. I don't use it often, but when summer hits in Texas, I do like to have something - and something I can count on. And with this one, I may have found a winner. Of all of them I've tried so far, this one is working very well for me. (Kroger, health food store)

For my husband's deodorant, we made some out of baking soda, arrowroot powder, and coconut oil and have found it extremely effective.

All Natural Bar Soaps - I've used these in our bathrooms instead of liquid soap for the last few years. It smells wonderful and lasts a long time. I'm not picky, I don't think I've bought the same type twice, there are just so many wonderful choices and scents. (Kroger, health food store, farmer's markets)

Silver Shield Cosmetic Gel -  This is also by Nature's Sunshine. I use this for my face when I'm getting a breakout or in between (when I remember) to prevent it. (Nature's Sunshine)

Sheer Naturals Make-up - I love this line. It's made by Carrie and is all natural minerals ONLY, no fillers, chemicals, dyes, or preservatives! Make up has always made me break out and this line doesn't and the colors look very natural on me. Carrie is great to work with and can help with color selection, even offering samples to find what works best for you! It is more expensive than most make up, but it lasts a long time and isn't going to end up contributing to my medical bills or disrupting my hormones like most make up eventually will. (online, link above)

In my next post, I'll share my cleaning products with you!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Jordan's Food Sensitivity List

I've kept a list of things Jordan is sensitive to, for reference, because I get so used to what he can't have, when someone asks I always forget to mention a few things. And, if we're going to someone's house for dinner, or if we're visiting our parents and they're cooking, that can cause a problem. It's been so long since going to someone else's place for dinner that I hadn't looked at my list in a really long time, probably a year or so. But, we've been invited for dinner Friday night (we'll see they keep the invitation extended once they see Jordan's list of foods to avoid, if not, they're welcome here at our place and I'll cook). I pulled out my list to email Jordan's foods to avoid list and, many of the things he's not sensitive to anymore! His body continues to heal!!! Here is Jordan's List (AFTER he went through months of allergy elimination treatments, which is really minor considering when we started the treatments he was allergic to ALL food except sweet potatos):

Dairy (all forms or derivatives of animal milk, except ghee)

I haven't tried giving him any of the remaining 6 items on this list, so he very well may have healed from some of them. I'm relatively sure that gluten and dairy are still issues, but maybe someday...

The body is amazing, God created it to heal itself, given adequate nutrients, cleansing and rest.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Toxicity and Pajamas?

Part of Jordan's healing from food allergies and autism involves avoiding any and all chemicals possible so as not to add to the burden his body is already dealing with in trying to clean out his internal environment. This includes air fresheners, fragrances, dryer sheets, normal household cleaners, and on the list goes. And yes, new pajamas.  Why pajamas? Most pajamas are coated with a chemical flame retardant. So, all his life, Jordan has had hand-me-down pajamas that have been washed hundreds of times or a plain undershirt T-shirt and shorts or sweatpants. Not a big deal.

Well, at Costco, again, on display were pajamas I was ready to run right past, like normal, when Jordan spotted some bright blue ones he fell in love with, to my surprise, they were organic and were not treated with flame resistant chemicals, and not outrageously expensive. He was SO excited to get new pajamas, just for him!


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Breaking the Cycle of Developing New Food Allergies and Healing Old Allergies

The very short answer of how the break the cycle of developing more allergies and heal old allergies...heal the digestive system: the gut, the bugs (bacteria & yeast), the immune system (75% of the immune system is in the gut/intestines).

The Gut. It's very possible that there is an issue with leaky gut. Where "holes" in the intestinal wall allow large food particles into the blood, where the immune system sees them as invaders (virus, bacteria, or toxin)and attacks, because big things in the blood are virus, bacteria, or toxin, nutrients from food in the blood are suppose to be small. The immune system then says hey, remember that substance for next time and we can conquer it more quickly = allergy reaction the next time the food is eaten. An explanation on healing the gut is in the next section on Bugs.

The Bugs. We all have an inner ecosystem - good and bad bugs in our digestive system. It's not that some are really bad, we need them, we just need them IN BALANCE. Too many of one type becomes a bad bug and can cause lots of problems. The most common culprit: candida, or yeast. It is their job to eat large food particles so they don't get into the bloodstream. Lots of large food particles, means more and more yeast are needed, but in the course of doing their job, they can multiply out of control and actually grow into and through our intestinal wall and get into the bloodstream themselves, and into our other organs, etc when they should only be in our gut and in the right proportion to other bugs there. If this is the cause...digestive enzymes to help digest the food are needed to correct the original reason the yeast overgrew in the first place. Yeast can also overgrow because the good bacteria are killed off for some reason. Things like birth control pills, hormone imbalances, acne medication, and ANTIBIOTICS all can cause yeast to get out of control. (Antibiotics - Think about it "anti" "biotic" or "against life". I'm not saying antibiotics are bad, I'm just saying we need to be aware that they kill both bad AND good bacteria and if we must take antibiotics, to make sure we take probiotics as well to help recolonize our gut with good bacteria after being on antibiotics. Personally, I try to find all-natural antibiotics in the form of herbs, essential oils, and things that help our bodies fight the bugs (thereby strengthening the immune system long term) rather than go in and wipe them out with drugs (which used repeatedly, in the long run weakens the immune system because it gets no exercise or experience).

It can be tough at first, but in the long run it sure pays off. My boys used to catch every little thing going around, and Jordan would be sick and completely miserable for 2-3 weeks every time he caught something. Now that I've been using natural things and have been working to build his immune system (for him that meant keeping him away from other sick kids for about a year - when you're sick, it's hard to heal other chronic issues and strengthen the body & immune system). Last week and this week we've been around hacking coughing kids many times and neither of my boys have gotten sick! It's wonderful!! FYI: it also means limiting (or eliminating) sugar. Sugar significantly depresses the immune system for 5-6 hours after it is eaten.

If there is already an issue with yeast, due to partially digested food, antibiotic, or other medication use. Then it needs to be killed and brought back under control. There are many ways to do this. One of my favorites is by using enzymes and probiotics, another is a combination of anti-fungal herbs in a product by Pure Herbs called Can Sol.  FYI: yeast feed on sugar and anything the body can readily turn to sugar: wheat, corn, pasta, potatos, dairy, maple syrup, etc. While combating yeast it may be necessary to seriously cut back (or completely eliminate) the intake of these foods for several weeks.

Once the yeast is controlled and the gut bacteria balanced, the gut will start to heal. There are things to help accelerate the healing of the gut as well. We've used L-glutamine, also knitbone or comfrey.

The Immune System. This is multifaceted and involved. To be completely honest I don't totally understand this area yet. What I do know is that immune system disregulation is epidemic today, with Th1 and Th2 responses being imbalanced. Th2 is overactive in many, many children (just think asthma & allergies). This means the immune system is always on high alert, fighting, everything. How did this flip happen? Well, it's not the only reason, but the most common answer for that is: vaccinations.

So, the immune system. That bring us back to the basis of recovery from many things (including: asthma, ADD, allergies, autism spectrum):

1)Stop putting bad things in
2)Put only the best things in as possible (food, body products, scents)
3)Get the bad stuff that is still in the body out.

For more information on this check out the pages about causes and treatment, toxicity, and nutrition.

While Working on the Gut, Bugs, and Immune System. If the child needs a greater variety of foods, the best thing I have found to help is called NAET or BioSET. However, the effectiveness of these techniques is very dependant on the skill and knowledge of the practitioner. Try to find one that others have had success through and who won't break your bank with a gazillion treatments.

After balancing the gut bacteria, immune system, and healing the gut, it may be necessary to do a treatment of NAET or BioSET for an existing allergy/sensitivity to clear it from the system and "reset" the immune system so that it no longer reacts.

UPDATE 3-10-12: On the flip side, once all those root causes are healed the allergies very well may just disappear one by one, that's what we are finding is happening for Jordan.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

A Whole Lot of Normal That Hasn't Been

Over Halloween weekend, we went camping...and had a blast!  I realize that may not sound significant to most of you. But for those of you with ASD (autism spectrum disorder) in the family, that can be a pretty major thing depending on the child's particular issues.
We tried it a year and half ago, with disastrous results. It was too much change, too many sounds, too many smells, too many people too close, too much of everything except sameness and his white noise machine, and completely overwhelmed him. This time it was pure adventure and enjoyment! 

 We rode bikes...

...a long ways

We swung on a grapevine

He swung high! (He used to go crazy swinging even an inch or two was absolutely terrifying to him - sensory issues).

...not anymore!

And for dinner...GF free range turkey hot dogs, chips, carrots and smoresIn a very rare event (like the first time in his life) we broke the diet rules. We used gluten-free, dairy-free, (and relatively free of toxins) "graham" crackers and chocolate bars, but couldn't find decent marshmallows here (we've found them in the past in MI), so I let him break the rules and eat normal marshmallows, blue food coloring, horrible chemicals and all. Believe me, this will only happen once or twice a year, for camping purposes only, when I don't remember to order others ahead of time...until his body has completely healed! And he did fine, no noticeable effects, but we won't make a habit of it. I know the cumulative effects, and we aren't going there!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A Favorite Snackbar

Finding packaged foods Jordan can eat and is good for him is a very difficult task. On my way through Costco a couple weeks ago, I see Mrs. Mays has a box of bars. Hmm, that holds possibilities. 

The first thing I check - the ingredient list, because it always tells the real story. My priorities -Jordan's allergens first, health a very close second. I'm pleasantly surprised.  It's mainly nuts, seeds and fruit. Although it does have evaporated cane juice, it's second to last on the list and there are no chemicals listed!  There are 3 different varieties, Acai Strawberry, Pomegranate Blueberry, Goji Cranberry so they vary slightly, but here is the list for the Pomegranate Blueberry: cashews, almonds, pistachios, blueberries, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, dates, pumpkin seeds, raisins, rice malt, natural flavors, freeze dried pomegranate powder, evaporated cane juice, sea salt.

They are gluten-free and dairy free, along with no preservatives! No only that - the boys (not to mention my husband and I) love them.

The only down-side is that they are somewhat crumbly, so I make sure they are eaten at the table or outside, not in the car.

At just under $16 for a box of 20, they are less than $1. per bar!!! By Jordan's food standards, for a packaged food, that's a deal!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Homemade Applesauce!

Nearly all Jordan's food is homemade, and having healthy foods on hand to grab quick is a huge help in staying on his healing diet.

My mom brought some MICHIGAN apples with her when she visited! 
Jordan making "snowmen" with the apples
Boiling it down into SAUCE and into the jars, added several drops of liquid STEVIA to each pan (no sugar).

My canning MAN! Having a glasstop stove, we can't can on it, so the canner goes outside on a propane camp stove we got at an auction YEARS ago.

The finished product - 26 QUARTS of applesauce!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Journey Through The Digestive System

Digestive Wellness for Children – Chapter 3

DIGESTION. In very basic terms, the digestive system is a 25+ foot tube that starts at the mouth and ends at the rectum. It includes the mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, pancreas, liver, gallbladder and large intestine. It is the basis for the body’s nutrient supply system – turn food into particles the cells can use for energy, maintenance, repair, growth – and a block, malfunction or failure in one part impedes the effectiveness everything downstream. We never really think much about our digestive system, unless we have a problem.

MOUTH. It is an amazing, intricate system. It actually starts with our mouth and how well we chew! Foods need to be broken into small particles, not swallowed as large chunks, so that enzymes can later finish breaking them down.

ESOPHAGUS AND STOMACH. The esophagus is a tube that takes food from the mouth down to the stomach. In the stomach hydrochloric acid (HCI), enzymes, and the contractions of the stomach work to kill bacteria that can cause food poisoning, break protein bonds and begins breaking down fats. The stomach has completed its job when food is liquefied into chyme.

SMALL INTESTINE. Averaging around 17 feet long, if stretched, the small intestine in the primary area where absorption of nutrients takes place. However, that isn’t all that takes place – a lot happens in the small intestine. Digestion of food is completed and nutrients are absorbed through the intestinal wall and into the blood stream. It also blocks the absorption of harmful things like chemicals, large food particles, etc. Also in the small intestine are billions of beneficial microbes that are critical to general health and to a strong immune system. 70% of the immune system is located in the gut.

PANCREAS, LIVER, AND GALLBLADDER. These organs all play a role in the digestive system. The pancreas although often thought of in its role of balancing blood sugars also plays key roles in digestion and absorption of nutrients through the production of enzymes.

The liver creates bile to emulsify fats, breaks down hormones, is critical in the processing of nutrients, chemicals, and drugs that are in the blood, determining which to keep, which to change, and which to eliminate. If the liver is congested, these functions can be greatly compromised.

The gallbladder stores bile for when a supply is needed. Bile emulsifies fats and breaks down fat soluble vitamins.

LARGE INTESTINE. The large intestine is primarily responsible for reabsorbing water back into the body and eliminating waste. Like the small intestine it contains beneficial microbes, necessary for health, digestion, disease protection, and the production of certain vitamins. The main issues to be aware of with the colon are frequency of movement and transit time. Ideally, you should have two to three bowel movements a day. And food should take between 12 and 24 hours from mouth to elimination. Anything less (diarrhea) or more (constipation) will have effects on health.

MY COMMENTS. The digestive system is a critical basis for health. The simplest things can make big differences – chewing food well (drink your food and chew you drinks!), taking digestive enzymes or eating raw foods, making sure the gut bacteria is balanced with beneficial bacteria, keeping the liver decongested.

For all children with multiple allergies, and for a huge percentage of autistic children, the health of the digestive system is the key to reversing the issues, particularly regaining the functioning of the small intestine and enzymes. At least 70% of the immune system is in the gut, specifically the small intestine. One of the common supplements used for autistic kids is L-glutamine, one of the reasons is because the small intestine uses L-glutamine (an amino acid) to repair itself and for energy. The small intestine is also where yeast starts to overgrow and can create leaky gut syndrome, a huge issue for many of these kids, but more about that in a couple of weeks.

Elimination is also key. These kids are sick because they are toxic. They have to eliminate toxins. The 4 avenues of elimination are: the lungs, the skin, the colon, and the urinary system. As relates to the digestive system, toxic kids need a decongested liver and bowels that move regularly. The liver needs to be able to filter the toxins out and the bowel needs to get rid of them, otherwise the toxins just keep recirculating.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Chemicals & Convenience: Consumer Be Aware! (Chapter 2)

Digestive Wellness for Children - Chapter 2

“Today, not a single child is born free of synthetic chemicals.” – Bill Moyer, PBS Documentary Trade Secrets

89% of ingredients used in personal-care products have not been evaluated for safety by the CIR, the FDA, nor any other publicly accountable institution.

FOOD. We used to eat foods that we hunted or grew, in season. Now we get foods shipped from all over the world, available all seasons, frozen, canned, irradiated, genetically modified, and microwaved. Nutrients, beneficial bacteria, and enzymes are killed or taken out to extend shelf-life. Preservatives and other additives are put in. The average American eats 14 pounds of additives per year! Before all that is done to it, it’s sprayed with pesticides!

Microwaving and Irradiation. They both change food the content and composition of food. Microwaving has shown to change the structural make up of the food in ways that conventional cooking does not change it. Irradiation uses nuclear waste materials to extend self-life and to kill all bacteria on food, however it also destroys much of the vitamin content and leaves food containing carcinogenic molecules.

Genetically Modified Foods. This involves changing the seed, altering the genetic makeup of food for purposes such as to resist herbicide so it can be sprayed and not die, among other things. Other countries have cried out and labeling is required. In the US labeling is not required. If you eat anything with corn or soy or their derivatives, unless it is organically grown, it is probably genetically modified. These crops were first developed in the mid-1990’s, the long-term consequences are unknown.

“The life in food gives us life. Once a plant is picked…a grain split…it begins to lose its enzymatic activity.” Processed foods no longer contain these enzymes. Whole foods in balance as in nature, will benefit us.

ENVIRONMENTAL EXPOSURES. Environmental toxins pose a serious health issue with the EPA citing 50,000 synthetic chemicals dispersed into our environment, many with interfere with the body’s functioning. Children facing the largest risks because they are exposed to more chemicals relative to their weight than adults, they absorb more and eliminate less. A study found an average of 200 industrial chemicals in the umbilical cord tissue of newborns.

Heavy Metals. “A child’s nervous system begins forming long before birth, as embryonic neurons branch out and make the connections that transport information to and from the brain and body…The neural pathways formed in your child’s first three years of life are the basis for his/her ability to learn and develop; during this time, exposure to heavy metals can have significant, detrimental consequences.” High levels of metals such as lead and mercury have been found in children with autism, ADD, and learning problems. Although still an issue, lead is becoming less of a problem, because of active campaigns to remove it from products, while mercury remains serious danger from fish, vaccinations, dental amalgams, and coal-powered fuel plants. It has serious ramifications for neurological development and readily passes through the placenta into the fetus.

PERSONAL-CARE AND HOUSEHOLD PRODUCTS. Consider what is in these products. We assume that they have been tested for safety, but only a small portion of the 75,000 chemicals registered with EPA have been tested. Again, children are more susceptible to the toxic effects of these chemicals than adults are.

MY COMMENTS. Foods, as close to how God created them as possible, are the best for us. He put things in food and created the balance our bodies need. When we mess with that, our health suffers. Whether it’s pesticides, genetic modification, irradiation, adding things, taking away things, homogenizing, microwaving – they all alter what God created. It’s the simplest healthy diet principle I’ve found – eat it how God made it, or as close to it as possible. For more information look at my Nutrition page.

Environmental Exposures. With a very sensitive child with autism, I nearly drove myself crazy trying to stay away from all environmental toxins. I quickly leaned it’s not possible. So I control and limit the exposure to what I can and what would be the most frequent exposures – water (purified, not just filtered), personal care products (the ingredients read like a recipe), fragrances and perfumed things (only essential oils in this house!), cleaners/detergents (all non-toxic, many made from what’s in my kitchen), no pharmaceuticals (only herbs and things), vaccines (nope), yard insecticides (dichotomous earth), pots/pans/baking/grilling/leftover storage (stainless steel, stone, glass or ceramic), sunscreen, bug spray, pools, the list goes on…slowly but surely we’ve converted so much of our house. There’s more we could do, there always will be. For more information look at my Toxicity page. To look up the toxicity or safety of specific  body care products go to Environmental Working Group's Cosmetic Database.

Why is this so important for autistic children? They are already toxic, with more burden than their bodies can eliminate (that’s why they have issues). It’s crucial to limit the amount toxicity being added, so that their bodies can eliminate (with extra help) what has already accumulated. If, instead, more toxicity is piled on, the body cannot heal. For more information look at my Causes and Treatment page.

It became so routine to scrutinize everything for chemical safety, I didn’t realize how aware of it I was. One day as we were leaving the zoo, I was several steps behind the boys and the nice gate lady stamped their hands. I saw it coming, I started to leap ahead to say, “NOOOO.” But it was too late. I stopped myself before my yell erupted. Although my internal anger did flash at that lady who just put toxic chemicals on my son!!! I realized in that moment how careful I had been about everything that went in, touched, or was present in my son’s environment. I was acutely aware of how every little thing affected his health. The thing is, it is true for all of us, just not to the same degree. These chemicals do affect our health, it just may take longer and manifest differently. It may not even be us that see the effects of our choices, it may be our children or grandchildren as some of these chemicals alter the health and structure of our genes.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Sorry Sweetie, You're Allergic: Explaining Allergies To Children

A very difficult part of food allergies or autism, if you are sticking to a diet, is explaining to the child that they can't eat what someone, or everyone, else is eating. As every child is different, I'm sure ways of explaining and what works will be different as well. I'll share what has worked for us.

For foods that he has an obvious reaction to such as dairy, which results in stomach pains and vomiting, it's not too difficult. "Sorry sweetie, that makes you sick; but this doesn't you may have this."

Foods that may not have such an obvious reaction can be a bit more difficult. For us, gluten is the most difficult to explain. It doesn't make him physically sick, in fact there are no signs of it bothering him, except that after weeks of eating it, he struggles with his speech and his communication abilities greatly diminish. When it is removed from his diet, 3 weeks later he is speaking great again. Because he wants to eat some of the other things that have an obvious reaction, I have explained that we are working to help his body heal, so someday he can eat those things.  When he wants to eat something with gluten (or junk food that he isn't allergic to) in it, instead of explaining that it will make him sick - because one of these days he'll try it and happily tell me that, "It doesn't make me sick!" when he doesn't see any affect from eating it - I explain that, "It isn't good for your body and won't help your body heal."  He often replies, "But, when my body is healed, I'll be able to have it?" Depending on what the item is, makes a difference in my answer. If it's healthy, I'll say, " Yes, when your body has healed, you'll be able to eat it." If it's not healthy, I'll say, "Yes, someday you may be able to eat it, but it still won't be good for you."

It has been my experience that helping him understand that certain foods make him sick or prevent his body from healing has really helped with him wanting foods he can't have and accepting an suitable alternative. I also always keep something he can eat in my purse - a Larabar or dehydrated fruit strip. Even if he can't have what everyone else is having, at least he can have something that he likes very much.

Digestive Wellness For Children - Chapter 1

Chapter 1 – Our Kids: Overfed and Undernourished

The focus of this chapter revolves around lifestyle challenges parents face, particularly in the area of what we eat. What is normal today is actually causing us to be unhealthy: fast food, processed food, and refined sweeteners.

We are eating a lot of food, but not getting the nutrients our bodies need. The average person gets 50% of daily calories from high calorie, low nutrient foods. Even when we eat “healthy” foods, they aren’t what they used to be in terms of nutrient density. For example, broccoli has only half the amount of calcium it had 50 years ago. Cauliflower has 40% the vitamin C.

The biggest issue is the food choices we make. Foods like soft drinks and refined sugar consume minerals from the body and do not add any to it. Minerals are critical for the functioning of the body from the operation of the cell and bone strength, to nerve, brain and muscle function. Eating out has surpassed home cooking as the option of choice for food. We spend $110. billion on fast foods, where we spent $6 billion in 1970.

Our bodies are made up of the things we eat. If we don’t eat the nutrients that fuel our bodies, deficiencies show up, manifesting first as things like irritability, lack of attention, mood swings. Is it surprising us that 20% of children have learning and behavior problems?

What Do We Eat per Person per Year? (Statistics from the USDA, 2001)
  • 142 pounds of caloric sweeteners
    • corn sweeteners (79.2 pounds/person) –increased significantly from previous usage
    • beet and cane sugar (61 pounds/person) –dropped significantly from previous usage
  • 24.3 gallons of coffee
  • 87.9 pounds of added fats and oils – 32.5 pounds of hydrogenated vegetable shortening
  • 26.7 quarts of ice cream sherbet, frozen yogurt, and ice milk
  • 25.1 gallons of alcohol – 21.6 as beer
  • 46.4 gallons of soft drinks
  • 4.2 pounds of potato chips
  • 22 pounds of candy
  • 38 donuts

My Comments:
Food is the area that I think is one of the hardest for people to change. We love our food. We eat for pleasure and comfort. Certain foods are connected with special events. And, we are so pressed for time, convenience becomes critical. Whatever the reason, what we eat is a very personal issue and is difficult to change because we don’t want to change, we like our food and the convenience. To change involves sacrifice. Yet, if we don’t give some things up and start eating differently from the standard American diet (SAD) eventually we will become sick, especially our kids because they likely never had a good nutritional foundation. When we begin to think of everything we eat as moving us toward health or away from it, it can make the choices and changes easier.

This strikes at the heart of autism and allergies. Anything nutrient deficient does not move my son toward health. Anything processed - hydrogenated oils, refined sugar, corn sweeteners, antibiotic and hormone laden meat, food colors - they all work to damage his body further rather than toward restoring healthy function. We have stayed far away from these things and have worked to feed him excellent nutrition, seeing everytime he takes a bite as an opportunity to give his body vitamins, minerals, fats, etc that he needs. We are are seeing great results (with additional supplementation, of course. When the bank account of nutrients is so extremely deficient it needs some major deposits)! 

Friday, August 27, 2010

Digestive Wellness for Children

Thanks for joining in for a journey through Digestive Wellness for Children, every Friday we'll tackle a bit more of it, let's get going.


Every day we are making decisions that affect our children’s health – diet, outdoor play vs computer games, medications, etc – and all those small decisions add up to what makes up their health. Each decision either moves them toward health or away from it.

A major component of the health of a body is digestion. Immune function relies heavily on the digestive system. We are not what we eat, but rather what we assimilate and don’t eliminate.

The rates of children’s disease are growing at alarming rates. What do they have in common? The lack of nutrition and proper digestion have been directly linked to many illnesses including juvenile arthritis, ADD, autism, migraines, asthma, depression, diabetes and others. Many of these are preventable or curable.

Why is nutrition so important? Nutrients are needed by each cell of the body, constantly, and that comes through food. If the cell does not get those nutrients, or get them intermittently, illness, behavioral, mental, or emotional issues show up.

This book approaches these health issues from the biological viewpoint rather than the medical viewpoint. The medical would diagnose and provide treatment in the form of medication or surgery, whereas the biological focuses on providing nutrition and cleansing. Gaining an understanding of the operation of the digestive system and working to understand the causes of illness so they can be corrected long-term, rather than only controlling symptoms.

The body can heal. Every day the body is replacing cells and disposing of old cells, renewing itself, with proper nutrients and elimination the body can become healthier, stronger, and better functioning.

When I began studying the digestive and immune systems, I was surprised to learn that 80% of the immune system is in the gut. Many neurotransmitters (up to 60%) are made there as well. This plays a huge role in the gut-brain connection with a large percentage of autistic children, certain types of allergy reactions, ADHD with behavior and brain function, and asthma with the immune system. That is why digestion and the health of the digestive tract is critical to these kids and is the first place to start when reversing these issues.

If your body was depending on the nutrients in the last meal you ate to build cells (because it is), would you be moving toward health or away from it?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


We went North for 3 weeks. The DAY before we left on the normally 18 hour road trip, Jordan decided he wanted to potty train…and he did!!!  The “18 hour” trip took few additional hours though.
This is an area where I didn’t want to push him.  Due to his resistance to change I knew I would lose if I tried to rush him, so I thought I’d wait for him to  decide. I had thought he was ready, but thought I’d wait until AFTER the trip to add some motivation and awareness.  What I didn’t expect was for him to decide and potty train himself the day before our big trip!

The greatest part is that it’s just another milestone that marks his progess away from autism and toward being neurotypical. Everyday I absob his hugs, revel in his smiles and giggles, delight at his climbing and hanging off things like a monkey, and they all zing straight at my heart with a thankfulness that makes me teary for how incredibly blessed we are . Certainly, it was and still is a lot of work, but considering what his life would be if we hadn’t done it is nearly unthinkable.

So, we are reveling in the joy of it…when we aren’t having a clash of wills and the normal 3 year old battles.  But even that brings joy (afterward) it is so wonderful to know I’m battling his will, shaping and forming his character, and that the tantrums aren’t mostly due to autism and overwhelmed-ness anymore.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Welcome to Food Allergy 911

This blog is inspired by my son, Jordan, who was allergic to all food, except sweet potato. Doctors were not able to help him. I researched the causes of allergies in order to save his life. Later, we learned he had autism as well. The causes behind allergies and autism are related along with asthma and ADHD. The purpose of this blog is to help others who find themselves with health issues, particularly allergies and autism. Although the principles used to recover from allergies and autism are health principles that are good for everyone. Originally, we made changes in our lives for Jordan, now our whole family practices these health principles, although not as rigidly as Jordan does.

Jordan has caught up to his age appropriate level of relating to others, speech ability, his sensory issues are gone, and his gross motor skills and coordination continue to improve. No one would ever guess that he ever had autism. His allergies are still in the process of healing and continue to diminish.

If your looking to overcome autism, allergies, asthma or ADHD or simply looking to live healthier lives, you will find help here.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Preventing Autism and Allergies

This is just an introduction, and certainly won't be extensive, but here are a few steps that you can take if you are pregnant, want to become pregnant, or even already have a little one.

Eat Healthy. For at least 6 months before you get pregnant! Food is fuel and nourishment for the body. That is it's purpose. Enjoyment is not the main purpose of food. Now that doesn't mean that you have to eat food that doesn't taste good. Healthy food can actually taste very good, but it might take some adjusting to eat a bowl of berries instead of a bowl of ice cream! Healthy is also different than what the media and the American Heart Association will tell you. It is not the food pyramid. But I won't get into all of that here. Very healthy things to eat: grass fed organic meats and eggs, fruit, vegetables, organic butter or ghee, nuts, seeds, and whole grains like brown rice or quinoa.

Whole Foods. Foods as close to how God made them as possible. A good general rule is to shop the perimeter of the store. Nearly all of the food in the middle of the store is processed and has added sugars, salts, excitotoxins and chemicals.

Food Ingredients. If you can't read it, don't eat it! It should read like a recipe, not like a chemical index.

Enzymes. If your food is not raw. Then you should take enzymes to help break it down so your body can best utilize what you are eating.

Orgnaics and Non GMO. If you can, eat organic and not genetically modified. Not only do organic foods not have the pesticides on them, they have more nutrients in them than their non-organic counterparts. Be aware that being organic does not make it healthy - there are plenty of processed organic foods that are not healthy. Foods commonly genetically modified (unless it's organic) are soy, corn, and wheat.

Drink Pure Water. Avoid soda (it's full of chemicals, excitotoxins, and sugar). Avoid caffeine.

Probiotics. Taking probiotics while pregnant and nursing (and give them to the baby in their bottle, if not nursing) is a good idea. Probiotics are good bacteria that live in our gut (intestines). Today's diet in America and the tendency to readily use antibiotics, oral contraception, steroid medication, and eat a high sugar diet have wrecked havoc on most people's gut bacteria. When a baby is born, their gut is colonized with the gut bacteria of the mother. If her gut bacteria is bad, the baby won't get the good bacteria they need for establishment of a healthy immune and digestive system. The mother taking probiotics (especially around the time of the birth and nursing) and giving probiotics to the baby after birth (if not nursing) will counteract this and give the baby good gut bacteria that will help to avoid long-term health problems. Probiotic supplements can be found at nearly any health food store. The most common one is L. acidophillus. Probiotic supplements containing only acidophillus or multiple probiotic strains can be readily found. If you or your child must take antibiotics, make sure to take probiotics during the same time period and for a week or so afterward.

Clean up Your Environment. Become aware of what you use in your house and the toxins that are in them and switch to non toxic alternatives. Things like cleaners, laundry detergent and dryer sheets, soaps, perfume, air fresheners, carpet cleaners, lotions (that you slather on your body and get absorbed into your skin and into your bloodstream), body wash, shampoo, bug spray, toothpaste, etc. Some of these may be surprising. But, become aware. Perfumes and artificial fragrances can be some of the more toxic substances in your home some fragrances have as many as 600 different chemicals in them, most of them toxic, and because it's in the air you don't even have to touch it, you can breathe it in.

Be especially aware of baby products like baby wash, lotion, and cream. Babies have thin skin and readily absorb what is put on it and their little systems cannot clear it out as well. It can put a huge burden on the kidneys, liver, and other detoxifying organs. Nearly all of the ones that you will find in the store are loaded with chemicals that are linked to causing cancer, allergies and immunotoxicity problems, developmental and reproductive toxicity, and organ system toxicity among other things. Again, a good guideline is that it should read like a recipe. If you wouldn't eat it, don't put it onto your body - or your baby's. Many stores are now carrying great nontoxic alternatives and there are tons of options online! So it's easy to find them.

Also be aware of cooking processes. We've all heard of the dangers of lead and mercury. They are heavy metals and damage brains, nerves, and cells. Same with aluminum. Replace aluminum cookware with high quality stainless steel (a magnet should stick to it) or glass. Do not cook or grill with aluminum foil. And, I know this sounds radical, but avoid using the microwave. It changes the cellular make up of proteins, toxins in plastic leach into the food, and you are radiating your food! It's a nuclear device - don't use it. I've found the toaster oven makes a great substitute. It warms foods much quicker than the oven, costs less than firing up the whole oven, and foods don't come out rubbery, as with the microwave!

Pharmaceuticals and over the counter medications. They are made of chemicals and all of them have detrimental side effects in the body and there are natural alternatives for most! I know it can be a hassle and intimidating, but seek alternatives, particularly for ongoing or frequently recurring problems. Things like colds and flus and ear infections can be helped quickly (even quicker than antibiotics) without harmful side effects by using things like garlic (a very potent natural antibiotic). You may not know what to do when it hits the first time, but look into it so you are prepared the next time! Even medications considered "safe" during pregnancy like antacids, many contain aluminum. Take nothing for granted.

Vaccinations. You need to know what your baby is being vaccinated for, why they need it, when they really need it (that may be different from when your doctor tells you they need it), and how to do them with your child's greatest safety and health in mind. Get educated before your baby is born!

By all means, unless the mom has Hepetitis B or the baby needs a blood transfusion, highly consider not letting your child get the Hep B shot as an infant, especially the first days of life! Heb B is spread through an infected hypodermic needle, sex, blood transfusions, or from the mom at birth. The vast majority of babies do not need this shot as an infant, especially as a newborn. It isn't worth the risk of overloading the very weak to non-existant immune system of a newborn affecting how it operates long term (think asthma, allergies, etc) or the toxic load this dumps into a newborn. The Hep B shot currently has 11xs the known toxic dose of aluminum for a baby. And that's just the aluminum in it...get educated!

Mercury is still in the flu vaccine. Mercury is one of the most toxic substances on earth. The flu is not particularly dangerous and the gamble that the vaccine makers actually picked the right strain of flu out of a couple hundred options to put in the vaccine isn't great. Weigh the risks and benefits, but you need to know both in order to do that!

Yeast and Heavy Metals. If you frequently get yeast infections, deal with it now! And by that, I don't mean do a round of Monistat or Diflucan (although that can be nice for quick relief) thinking that takes care of it. If it is a recurring problem, it is a sign that you likely have an overgrowth of yeast throughout your body. Find a practitioner or doctor who is knowledgeable about this, deal with it, and change your diet and digestion. If you continue to struggle with yeast, you may have heavy metal toxicity, and you definately want to deal with that before pregnancy and childbirth. This is critical!

We all expect and pray to have healthy children, but the rates of children with health problems are skyrocketing. These steps can help prevent so many of those issues.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Allergies, Autism & Nutrition

Autism Facts
  • 1 in 91 individuals is diagnosed with autism, making it more common than pediatric cancer, diabetes, and AIDS combined.
  • 1 out of 58 are boys, making it the fastest growing developmental disorder we have ever seen.
  • The economic impact of autism is more than $90 billion and is expected to more than double within the next decade.
The Nutrition Link
Not only has the prevalence of Autism skyrocketed, the rates of asthma, ADHD, and allergies are also growing. One thing that can improve all of these conditions – diet and nutrition. One thing that every child I’ve ever heard of recovering from autism had in common – diet. Some only required an allergy avoidance diet. Others, an allergy avoidance diet plus other nutrition and supplementation, plus therapies. For Jordan, allergy avoidance was the foundation of his diet. We didn’t see anything spectacular developmentally when we avoided his allergies, we had to get super healthy on top of that plus do supplements and detoxing. However, if we hadn’t done the diet (or when it was accidentally broken, everything else we had done (therapies, brain exercises, etc) and the improvements he had made  fell apart.

When I started studying nutrition 3 years ago when our journey with Jordan started, I was shocked to find that everything I had been taught through school, the media and while growing up (such as the food pyramid, milk is a good source of calcium, etc) was flat out wrong. Three things were right. Those three things are…drumroll please – fruits and vegetables are good for you (that’s two). Third, sugar is not good for you! Those are the sum total of accurate things I learned about diet and nutrition throughout all my first 30 years. As I began to learn, the amount of misinformation and conflicting information surrounding nutrition can create a lot of confusion. But after studying, learning trustworthy sources, sources that can’t be trusted, and learning some basic foundational guidelines it became much easier to confidently make truly healthy choices.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Happy 3rd Birthday, Jordan!


Pardon the delay, I’m quite behind. Jordan turned 3 the beginning of March. It was a very significant day for me. A day we didn’t know if he would survive long enough to see.  Right around 1 year old, when he was allergic to all food except sweet potato (and so bored with it after months of it breakfast, lunch, and dinner that he threw more of it at me than he ate) and my milk just wasn’t meeting all of his needs any more, we were told by the doctor and allergists, that they couldn’t do anything until he was three. My response, “THREE???? He can’t eat anything, he’s not going to live until three at this rate.”  He had fallen from the 90th percentile on height to the 50th percentile, and his weight had fallen to the 5th percentile – not good, but not surprising.

Now two years later, not only did he turn 3, but having fought many a battle between then and now, he is thriving! It was a day of rejoicing and Jordan was excited, eagerly participating and knowing what was happening. It was incredible! Big brother even helped make his almond flour shortcake. Enjoy the snapshots of our miracle day, an incredible gift of God!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Moving Forward Again Through Autism & Heavy Metal Chelation

Last I updated, Jordan had hit a plateau and wasn’t going backward, but wasn’t going forward either.  We discovered that gluten has snuck back into his diet in one item that I had been told by a doctor was gluten free. I started to get suspicious as we kept thinking about what was different and contacted the manufacturer to learn that it has cross-contamination from other grains. Three weeks after removing gluten, he started progressing again!!

We hit some roadblocks with chelation too. Jordan was having regular meltdowns whether on or off of the OSR and just couldn’t seem to tolerate either anymore. When I spoke with his doctor they mentioned that either the yeast was flaring up or it could be the toxicity burden in his body is too great.  That triggered a thought in me. I hadn’t noticed any signs of yeast flare up (although it could have certainly still been that) but the body burden made it click in my mind. I had noticed his under eye area being especially puffy and that relates to the kidneys (which are secondary to the liver in the elimination channels of the body) so I put Jordan back on his all natural herbal liver decongesting supplement…and tada more progress in his development, less puffy eyes and after a couple of weeks, he was able to start the chelating agent again and is tolerating it well, actually he’s not just tolerating it but started doing better on it than he was when he was doing off of it.

Heavy metals congest the liver, we’d been working to pull metal out of him since August and although we were using charcoal to bind them and escort them out of his body, his liver still got congested, whether by metals or just general body burden.  Great results with the liver supplement! And on OSR again!

Overall, he is doing just great. So great, I need to make sure not just to go about our lives, but to keep consistent with ALL of his supplements. It’s easy to miss or forget about some nowdays.
He quite regularly comes and gives me hugs just because he wants to. He is doing great socially. He seems pretty normal, still behind in a few areas, but all in all, he is coming along and doing great! When I think of him as more of a 2 1/2 year old instead of a 3 year old, he seems very normal indeed (other than his muscle tone and coordination still being a bit floppy).

Thanks for keeping up! We’re counting our blessings, praising and thanking God for the healing He is bringing in Jordan’s body and mind!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Heavy Metals Connection to Autism & ADHD

Here is a link to a video of a leading researcher and doctor talking about aluminum.   This information is greatly needed! It will change how you get vaccines and what you cook on!

Interview with Dr. David Ayoub about aluminum and it's link to Autism, ADHD, & Alzheimers

Sunday, February 28, 2010

To Buy or Not To Buy - Organic That Is???

“Prioritizing the Non-toxic Conversion”  (my last posting) spoke of “The Dirty Dozen, the fruits and veggies with the most pesticides. I thought I would go ahead and list them here. These are researched and published by The Environmental Research Group. As I mentioned in my last post, as you prioritize where to spend your money, and whether organic this or that is worth it, I would start with oils, then meats (grassfed), then corn or soy and other genetically engineered or modified foods, then fruits and veggies. But if you bear these in mind, while shopping it can help you decide if the extra cost of the organic foods are worth it. Environmental Working Group even has a handy printable form of this that is a convenient size for the wallet. Click here HERE to go to where you can download your own copy. 

The “Dirty Dozen”  (highest level of pesticides) 
1. Peach (imported)2. Carrot  
3. Pear 
4. Apple 
5. Bell Pepper 
6. Celery 
7. Nectarine 
8. Strawberries 
9. Cherries 
10. Kale 
11. Lettuce 
12. Grapes

 The CLEAN 15  – (least amount of  pesticides)   
1. Onion
2. Avocado
3. Sweet Corn
4. Pineapple
5. Mango
6. Asparagus
7. Sweet Peas
8. Kiwi
9. Cabbage
10. Eggplant
11. Papaya
12. Watermelon
13. Broccoli
14. Tomato
15. Sweet Potato

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Prioritizing the Non-toxic Conversion

My non-toxic carpet spot cleaners

I was asked a great question this week, and thought I’d share it and my answer with y’all.

I’ve been doing a lot of reading about the different ways toxins get into our lives and the healthier alternatives.  It’s rather overwhelming as I’m sure you know!  Although I’d love to implement many of them, we are not going to spend a lot of money on it, so I am trying to prioritize what would be the most important areas to change.  For example, would it be better to put money toward things that bother me, like a filter for our chlorinated tap water, or to buy natural body care products or organic foods or replace aluminum cookware,etc?  We may do all of the above mentioned things eventually, but right now I’m trying to figure out if certain things are more likely to be problematic and should be addressed first. 

I totally understand your prioritizing question and went through that myself…still going through that a little. There isn't a clear cut answer, and certainly there is no "right" way to go about it. Any improvement is helpful. Most importantly, just take it one step at a time!

The way I determine what to do first is:

1. A balance of cost and benefit, and if it’s one time or ongoing (e.g. organic foods are a substantial ongoing cost vs. replacing aluminum cookware, one time cost. Personally, I’d be tempted to delay organic produce for a bit and save that money to buy a water filter or stainless steel/cast iron/stone cookware).

2. Level of toxins for each. This is hard to determine, different toxins affect people differently. However, in looking at organic foods, you may choose to buy organic apples since they are in the top dozen of most pesticides, etc and buy conventional avocados, since almost no chemicals are used on them anyway. Or replacing toxic surface cleaners/disinfectants (you breath them 24/7 and touch those surfaces a lot) before buying organic bananas (not on the dirty dozen list and has a thick peel which helps some).

3. Just do one thing at a time, then the next, and before you know it you will have converted most of your stuff. I know it’s easy to panic and want to do it all at once, but slow and steady does win the race. This one is a marathon, not a sprint!

How I would Prioritize Going Non-Toxic

1. Water filter
2. Household cleaners, laundry detergents, air fresheners, etc (this ranks high - afterall, we have to breath this stuff 24/7, and little feet and hands touch and absorb it. It’s also relatively easy to transition.)
3. Natural body care products that stay on your skin or are cheaper than conventional.
4. Organic oils, meats, eggs. (This could easily be higher on the list, it’s a toss up in my book.)
5. Cookware (replacing aluminum, copper, non-stick and Tephlon)
6. Other body care products and other top priority organic foods
7. Food Storage (replacing plastic with glass)

Explaining My Choices

Of these items, a water filter and cookware are mostly one time costs; where body care products, cleaners and organic foods are ongoing costs. So, I would list the one time cost items in order of priority, and do the basic minimums (as money allows) on the ongoing items alongside of that.

Water Filter

Without a doubt, I would get a water filter first, and not just a chlorine filter, but one that takes out fluoride, pharmaceuticals, heavy metals, VOC’s (volatile organic compounds, I think) etc. We drink water a lot, it’s obviously very essential to the body. We’re made of mostly water! It’s extremely important to our health to have pure water. There are tons of different types of filters available. Personally, we decided to get a Reverse Osmosis (RO) system that mounts under the sink. It seemed the best balance of cost, purity, and ease/convenience of install and use. The prices vary greatly, as does the quality and most expensive ones are not necessarily the best. We got ours from Costco for around $200. I know Sam’s Club has them too. And replacement filters (every 6 months) run around $50. My husband is quite a handyman and installed it himself, so there was no plumber cost.

The rest of the conversion options aren’t as clear cut.

Natural Body Care Products

I would switch to natural body care products as I used up the conventional ones, and spread out the initial change-over cost over time that way. And, you can do things like switching to natural bar soap instead of using liquid soap. The natural liquid soaps are really expensive, but the bar soaps are cheap and long lasting, so I actually spend less now on soap than I did before I went nontoxic! I do get liquid soap (nontoxic, but not organic) for the kitchen though. And here you really have to think through how you use products and where to spend money. Personally for kitchen soap, it’s on my hands briefly and I wash it right off, so I just get something real basic, not the best. Now lotion, where I rub it on and it soaks in (so some of it ends up in my blood fairly quickly without the slight benefits of filtration through the digestive system) I’m willing to spend a little more. Make up falls in this category as well!

Non-toxic Cleaning Products

I would do this similar to the body care products, where I replaced things as I used them up, and spread out the initial cost that way. Something easy to forget is that most cleaning products have fragrance, the chemical kind, not the natural God-made kind. By far, the majority of these fragrances are toxic (not to mention all the actual toxic chemicals for cleaning in these products), then combine tens or hundreds, even thousands of the chemicals in one product and we spread them around our homes, in every room, on most surfaces where we breath them in and touch them repeatedly. Just think of little feet and hands crawling across a freshly mopped floor (absorbing all those chemicals through the skin), and then sucking a thumb, all while breathing in the vapors! Or wonderfully smelling freshly laundered clothes, covering the body, sitting on the skin 24/7 allowing skin to touch and absorb those detergents and dryer sheet chemicals and fragrances.  Since these impact us 24/7, and they are completely loaded with chemicals (that’s what they made of) replacing them ranks pretty high on my priority list!

Cookware and Food Storage

As a  one-time cost priority, I would put it after a water filter. I don’t know about you, but for wedding gifts and hand-me-downs from grandparents and stuff, I got corningware ceramic casserole dishes and glass bread pans, etc. Yet, I totally forgot about the corningware when I went to bake something I had always baked in a 9×9 or 9×13 aluminum pan. I had to realize that it was okay for bread or brownies or whatever to be round or oval and not square. That alone saved some money and let me feel like I could wait to buy alternatives. I’m not always the best at thinking outside the box! That’s baking.
Cookware – fortunately, I had bought a stainless steel set with wedding money when we were first married, so I didn’t need to replace much of my cookware. If you garage sale (or visit antique shops), you can often find some great cast iron skillets and things for cheap – and that can generally go in the oven or on top of the stove! Also, many of these items fall in price ranges where you can put them on a wish list for gifts.

Food Storage 

I would do this after cookware, replacing plastic with glass (pyrex-type).

Organic Foods 

There is such a range here, from eating only organic, to just getting a few things organic, so it’s hard to say, and it can eat up a lot of money. Personally, I’ve come to where I try to get “The Dirty Dozen” organic, and things extra hard to wash (not that washing actually gets the chemicals out of them, but probably does reduce exposure a little) e.g. spinach, lettuce, broccoli; and things close to the same price as conventional e.g. carrots I can usually find organic for about the same price, but if they happen to be way expensive that week and we need them, I get conventional. You can look up the Dirty Dozen – the fruits/veggies with the most pesticides on the Environmental Working Group website (I need to look it up again myself!) Oh yes, and for foods that are mostly genetically modified (GMO) nowdays – corn, soy – I try hard to get those organic too, so that we don’t eat GMO stuff. So, for example, nacho chips (corn) – we only get organic, but Costco has huge bags really affordable.  This area, and how far you can go, is something you really have to decide for yourself.

 Someday, I hope to be able to do more organic (we will soon, my husband is building an aquaponics system in our backyard to grow our own veggies and fish), but for now, we do the most toxin containing foods organic (prioritized in this order): oils (fats/oils are where toxins are stored, so we only get organic oils), meat (grassfed or wild), eggs (preferrably free-range, but at least organic), foods normally genetically modified (corn, we stay away from soy, generally), and the “dirty dozen” fruit/veggies.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Autism Recovery - No Progress...Normal???

Jordan progressed an amazing amount between September and the end of December.  January was a different story. Nothing bad, nothing great. But no progress. When progress slows or stops, I start questioning what is different. What we have added to his diet that may be affecting him, what we have forgotten to keep in his diet or regimen of supplements that may be causing it, what point he is at in his treatment – when one issue is resolved, another will often present itself, as we “peel back the layers” of his health issues. So, maybe we’ve resolved some yeast and heavy metal issues and revealed some viral or parasite issue?  All these things go through my mind – repeatedly. And I turn detective again trying to figure it out.

Discovering Stingrays!
We saw his neuro doctor (Dr. R) today, and I came away encouraged. He, obviously, knows way more about the brain and it’s development than I do (most of what I know of the brain, I learned from him).  He saw a couple of things in Jordan that I hadn’t counted as particularly significant, like using imagination as he took a toy lizard, changed his voice, and began a pretend interaction with the toy snake I was holding :)  He also mentioned how the brain will grow and learn, then may step back a bit and go, “Hmm” and let things settle a bit, before advancing again (okay, so that might not be the scientific explanation).

Tonight as I was reflecting on Jordan and his progress, or lack thereof, and was recalling my older, neurotypical son's progress in his first couple years. I remembered how it seemed that he would go through developmental spurts, where he would progress a lot, and then his development seemed to slow for awhile, until he would hit another developmental growth spurt.

Maybe I’m getting a little too used to monitoring every single detail of Jordan’s diet, development, supplements, vitamins, socialness, fussiness, motor control, etc.  Maybe sometimes something doesn’t have to be wrong or need to be changed when development slows a little.  Now I’m not stopping – we’re still consulting with the nutritional and detox doctor again in two weeks and we’ll be doing the new brain exercises for this month from the neuro doctor, and I’ve already redoubled our efforts on his diet and supplements, removing a couple things we had allowed to creep in.  But, I am breathing a little easier and find myself taking a nice big sigh, relaxing, and putting away my detective badge for tonight. Taking a moment, or a few, to enjoy and reflect on how far he’s come. A bad day now is still 1,000 times better than a good day one year ago!