What can I do before seeing a MAPS doctor?


What can I do before seeing a MAPS doctor? A lot.

Ideally, you’d be able to get right in to see a Medical Academy of Special needs (MAPS) doctor shortly after receiving an ASD diagnosis for your child but between costs, waiting lists, inability to travel, especially outside the USA, and the learning curve to even know they exist, it can take months or years to get to see a MAPS (MAPS replaces the group formerly known as DAN ) doctor to assess and treat your child functionally and heal their bodies. Whether your child was recently diagnosed or you are just new to TACA and MAPS doctors, below are some things you can do while you wait, in no particular order.


Non-Medical Things You Can Do

  • Get therapy assessments, and if needed, start therapies.
  • Implement an intensive 1:1 program.
  • Get Organized.
    • Gather and scan your child’s medical and school records to your computer for easy searching later. If you haven’t gathered them from practitioners yet, do it now before they destroy your records. Read more here.
  • Get involved and get support.
  • Read, Read, Read.
  • Keep journals.
    • We all THINK we will remember how our kids do on a supplement or a food, but once you have done a few, they all run into one another and you won't remember every detail, and those details will help your doctor guide treatments, so keep journals for everything you do. TACA has many free templates for journaling and record keeping.
  • Prepare for an emergency.
    • No one ever plans for an emergency but you can! Having all the information you will need in one place will save you time and panic if you ever need it. Anyone can have a crisis, so a little preparation can go a long way.
  • Learn your legal rights!
  • Sleep on it!
  • Watch online presentations and webinars.
  • Keep Your Kids Engaged
    • One of the common issues with autism is that our kids prefer to be alone and fester in their OCD and self-stimulatory behaviors. While giving them breaks is great, too much time alone can be a bad thing so learn some things to keep them engaged.
  • Apply for a free 1:1 Parent Mentor
    • Getting connected with a trained TACA Mentor parent can save you loads of time and mental energy by guiding you through the processes and services your child will need. Get one ASAP!
  • Get training for yourself
    • No one sets out to have a child with special needs, especially behavioral needs and what you know about parenting may not apply to your child with autism so getting some training on parenting for autism can help a lot.

Medical Things You Can Do

These suggestions are strategies that encourage balanced nutrition, remove additional toxin exposure and help the body regain and stay healthy.

Recent research demonstrates many children with autism also have treatable medical issues. Once medical issues are tested and treated, children with autism act and feel better.

  • Encourage proper sulphation and help relaxation before bedtime.
    • Start nightly Epsom salt baths. Soak 20+ minutes in warm water up to their belly button with 1-2 cups of epsom salts.
  • Start the gluten-free, casein-free, soy-free (GFCFSF) diet.
  • Start pulling out toxins from personal care products, kitchen, and household items.
    • Start replacing plastic with glass containers
    • Test your water quality and buy filters, if needed
    • Start replacing anything non-stick with cast iron or stainless steel
    • Start replacing shampoo, soap, toothpaste, deodorants with non-toxic versions
    • Start replacing laundry and dishwashing supplies with non-toxic versions
    • EWG's SkinDeep Database is the best on the web!
  • Start buying organic food.
  • It is all about how your body takes out the trash: POOP.
  • Learn what symptoms your child exhibits mean.
  • Allergy trials.
  • Treat yeast overgrowth.
  • Supplements and Vitamins.
  • What your current pediatrician can do for you.
    • You can ask your doctor to basic lab tests through your insurance covered lab for the baseline tests like:
      • Urine quantitative organic acid test, gut pathogen metabolites on a stool culture (O&P x3, giardia, cryptosporidium), plasma amino acid panel, RBC (red blood cells), CBC, Plasma lactate, Plasma Acylcarnitine panel (Quantitative), Free and total Carnitine, Plasma Ammonia, Creatine Kinase, Baseline levels of Cholesterol, CoQ10, Vitamin E, Vitamin D, Comprehensive Metabolic Panel, C-reactive Protein, TNFa, IgG and IgE allergy panels, immune markers - especially IgA, viral titers for HSV 1 and 2, HHV 6, EBV.
        • Please note that these tests cannot all be done at once as they'd require too much blood so you'll have to split them into 2-3 appointments depending on the age of the child. These tests should generally be done overnight fasting (10-12 hours).
      • Genetic tests like Fragile X, Chromosomal Microarray, Rett Syndrome.
      • Neurology tests like EEG (unmedicated, 24 hour minimum, including irregular discharges) and MRI (sedated). Some doctors won't like to order the 24-hour EEG, so you'll need to convince them.
  • Scholarships and Grants for Medical care
  • Learn your insurance coverage
    • Learn how to submit an insurance reimbursement for MAPS appointments as most MAPS doctors don’t accept insurance, so you will have to pay up front and seek reimbursement through your insurance plan.
  • Educate yourself about the potential risks of vaccination.
  • Get ready for that MAPS appointment
    • Know what an appointment will look like, what you’ll need to bring, what you should ask and much more.

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