Grandparents Must Be Part of the Journey

March 24, 2017

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Author: Chuck Kern, TACA Grandfather

When my son announced that he was naming his second son, Charlie, after me, I was very humbled and overwhelmed with pride. “Charles” has been an important name in our family tree. But many months later, my emotions turned to deep anxiety and fear when I realized that Charlie did not respond when I called his name. I was afraid that he had severe hearing loss. Then my anxiety deepened still more when I realized that he would not focus on my face when I held him and talked to him. He had seemed so normal for the first few months of his life. What could have happened? As a parent and grandparent you want only the best for your family and glory in their development and accomplishments. My wife and I agonized with sleepless nights what had gone wrong, why Charlie’s development had slowed so suddenly, and what could be done about it. Obviously as senior citizens we were used to seeing health problems among our families and friends, but also came to expect that proper treatment brought improved health. Problems demanded solutions!

As Charlie’s worsening food allergies began to be identified, and the label of autism was placed on him, we struggled to find hope, expecting improvement, and in the end we have cherished what growth in development he has eventually realized. When visiting us we made sure that tree nuts were absent from the property. We located and stocked gluten-free and casein-free food products which would be appropriate for Charlie. We wanted to do our part in every way to be part of the solution to his developmental issues, not part of the problem in any way. We could not accept that even a little gluten wouldn’t hurt once in a while.

Thanks to help from TACA he and his family have learned all they can about food allergies, ABA therapy, dietary supplements, health specialists, and protocols which have led to amazing improvements.

We know that he still has several years ahead of him to shed the label of autism and for his food allergies to be fully under control. But we know that when he graduates from high school many people will be there to cheer for his accomplishments despite the struggle of autism. Whether or not I will be there is uncertain, but wherever I will be, I will be smiling, because his Grandmother and I worked to be part of the remedy to his problems, instead of part of the problem.

Charlie and his grandparents.
Charlie and his grandparents.