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Is there hope?

Posted by on Jun. 7, 2012 at 11:42 PM
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We just got news that my oldest son "Brenden" (age 2) is autistic... I don't think it has all "sank in" yet, and I am not dealing with it very well. I just don't understand what went wrong or when things went down hill... Its just as if all his progress from being a baby is going backwards... I am heart broken & am willing to do ANYTHING to heal my child... I have heard of the GFCF diet & was wondering if anyone else had tried that... We are in the process of getting speech therapy & other therapy started along with catscans, hearing test & many more doctor appts... I just was wondering if there is anything I can do to help him & any tips that will help start the potty training adventure (he now takes him diaper off everytime he pees including at night) but refuses to go to the potty, any tips on starting to talk again, & any tips for eating habits (he only eats things with a crunchy texture... which makes 90% of his meals JUNK)... I also have another son "Skyler" (age 4 months)... Is there any way to prevent this from happening to him... & is there any way I can heal Brenden & get him back to way he was before. Thank you all for the support from this website, I am new to this & am loving it so far!

by on Jun. 7, 2012 at 11:42 PM
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by on Jun. 8, 2012 at 12:13 AM
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Early intervention is helpful to assist the child in reaching his full potential so you are doing the right thing by getting him therapy. We have not done the GFCG diet but it works well for some. If you try it and do not see results within a month then maybe it is not for you.I read somewhere that it will help (not cure) the symptoms and behaviors of about 25 percent of kids with autism so it cannot hurt to try it if you desire. We have not done so because our kid loves milk and mac & cheese...sometimes that is all we can get him to eat so I don't want to starve him:)

Potty's tough...I have a 3 year old that will be 4 in Oct that we are trying to potty train before he gets kicked out of daycare. He has to be potty trained by fall and is going to a special ABA camp this summer (for 8 wks) and they are working on helping with this one. It can help to have him sit on the potty for 20 minutes every hour and give him a reward (maybe even a sticker) if he goes.

With regards to what went wrong...please know that you did nothing wrong and these things happen just like any other condition such as diabetes, cancer etc. Do not let anyone blame you and you are doing the best thing by getting him help at such an early age. With regards to your other child, there is to my knowledge no way to prevent autism from developing if he is going to have it, he will - trust me if there were a way to prevent autism...we would all be doing it/have done it..hang in there!!!!you rock

by on Jun. 8, 2012 at 12:27 AM
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Hello and Welcome.  My name is Michelle and I have 3 boys on the spectrum.  My oldest is 12 and my twins are 8.  Please don't feel you have done anything to cause this.  The experts still don't fully understand autism.  

I can remember when the twins were first dx'd and how overwelming everything seemed. Looking back now I wish I would have had someone tell me it is going to be okay.  So I will tell you and I am sure many more will chime in telling you that it will be indeed be okay.  

You are on the right track with therapy.  I would read and research all you can so you can understand autism.  I would also say that where your child is right now is just a snapshot of this moment and not in any way an indicator of where he will end up.  He will improve and progress.  My boys are doing so well right now and have come so far from where they first started.  I am very hopeful for their future and am enjoying where they are right this moment.

Autism is not a gloom and doom diagnosis like much of the media portrays it.  Yes, some things are more challenging for my boys, but some things come much easier to them too. I just do all I can for them and try to help them be the best they can be.

We are all so glad you joined and look forward to getting to know you better.


by Wendy on Jun. 8, 2012 at 7:30 AM
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Welcome to the group! I would get Brenden in Early Intervention program to get speech and OT.  I know it's alot to deal with at first but now you can help your child get help. :)  ((hugs))


by on Jun. 8, 2012 at 7:49 AM
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asd is about 50 % genetic so there is a 50 % chance hes not genetic but if he is you mcant "prevent it"!!he well get better perse its just a slower process my son wasnonverbal but is finally getting words and is almost fully potty trained!!!

by on Jun. 8, 2012 at 7:53 AM
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welcome to the group! you did nothing wrong please don't blame yourself. you have a good start with starting speech. I would also as others have mentioned look into EI for other therapies. you are not alone in this! 

by on Jun. 8, 2012 at 8:01 AM
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Welcome to the group!  I know it is all a lot to take in at first.  Lots of emotions, etc.  Just take a deep breath & realize that your son is who he is and there was nothing you "did" to make him this way.  It's not your fault!  There are lots of so-called "studies" out there about various possible causes, but I try not to focus on that b/c none of it is 100% proven.  So....just love & raise your 4 month old as best you can't prevent autism, IMO.

My son didn't potty train till he was 3.5.  He did take off his diapers etc. around age 2 & I thought he was ready, but he wasn't.  With ASD seems that it has to be on THEIR I didn't stress about it too much.

Eating.....yeah, my son is particular about textures as well which makes some of his meals "junk" also.  But we found something new the other day...since he likes crunchy stuff, like chick nuggets, etc....DH made fried okra & my son ate them up!!  I was like "whoo hoo!  he ate a vegetable!"  LOL  I usually just give him a PediaSure shake once a day and a multi-vitamin and leave it at that.

by on Jun. 8, 2012 at 8:18 AM
Definitely there is hope. 2 and 3 were rough years with my son (he wasn't diagnosed until 3.5). He has done very well with interventions over the last year. I see big improvements, though there are new problems, and I am accepting that this is the course he will take. When he was diagnosed, I thought maybe he could be all better in a couple years when he starts Kindergarten. Now I know it doesn't work that way. Autism doesn't go away, but the symptoms can diminish or become manageable.

There is lots of hope though. Don't worry about the potty now, he's young, and many of our kids learn later. Same with his food at the moment. Get him started with any treatment he needs, speech or OT may actually help with food issues, as may ABA if he qualifies. But throw away conventional development guidelines, they just don't always apply to our kids.

Big hugs to you, this is difficult news to hear. But he's still your baby boy, he just needs more help than some children. It will be okay, and you did nothing wrong.
by on Jun. 8, 2012 at 10:53 AM
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Welcome :)  Stick around you will get a lot of great advice from these ladies!

by on Jun. 8, 2012 at 12:01 PM
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Welcome to Holland.

Right now what you do is keep up with his therapies, pay attention to what his professionsals say and research, research, research!

There is no blame to lay anywhere.  Some people want more than anything to figure out who or what to blame when a child has a difficulty, but more often than not it is a mystery.  Other people more than anything want to find the magic pill that will make everything just the way they had planned it to be, but there is no magic pill.

Your main job is just loving them.

So far as the GFCF diet, anecdotal evidence seems to suggest that it does help some children that also have intestinal difficulties.  You guess is as good as mine as to whether the intestinal troubles in those cases are directly linked to the childs autism, or whether alleviating the intestinal discomfort just helps the kids learn and socialize more easily.

So far as potty training, patience is key, just like with any other kid.  It sounds as though you child is ahead of mine on this front.

Many many kids have eating issues.  Color, shape, texture, they might restrict themselves to anything like that.  Many raw fruits and vegetables are crunchy, so there is a start on a healthy diet.

by on Jun. 8, 2012 at 12:39 PM
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((hugs))  If you haven't already, I would contact Early Intervention to start recieving therapies.  They will provide speech, occupational, and physical therapies that will help your son. 

It is common for kids on the spectrum to have sensory issues, including the texture of foods.  My son, who is now 6, still has trouble eating certain textures.  Because of this, we have not had success with the GFCF diet.  However, I make changes to the foods he eats to help get some nutrition in his diet.  For example, I make homemade pizza and spaghetti sauces filled with pureed veggies.  Because that texture is the same, he does not mind eating it.  Other moms have had success with the GFCF diet though and I am sure you will find useful information!

Remember that you did not do anything wrong.  Unfortunately, there is no cure for autism and it cannot be healed.  Also, you cannot prevent autism in your youngest son.  What you can do is monitor his behaviors to know if autism is suspected.  My oldest son has autism but my 4 year old son does not. 

((hugs))  This group is a great place to find advice, support, and information about autism.  It will be okay!

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