I Found Hope
January 18, 2014
On July 7, 2009, at 2:21 a.m., our second child, Noah made his QUICK entry into the world at 39 weeks and 3 days gestation. He was born a mere 20 minutes after arriving to the hospital. He was so excited to meet us that he couldn’t even wait for the doctor to arrive. Noah was vaccinated per the CDC recommended schedule up until 24 months. Other than suffering from acid reflux and chronic strep infections, Noah was otherwise a happy, healthy baby who met all of his developmental milestones. He was walking and talking by his first birthday, and by 15 months, he was using 2- to 3-word sentences and attempting to read.
When 18 months rolled around, Noah was due for another round of vaccinations, however, he was sick with yet another strep infection, so we decided to hold off until he was better. At 20 months, Noah was finally well enough for his vaccinations and had his Well Baby visit. During this appointment, Noah was screened for autism and passed with flying colors. At the end of that visit, Noah was given the MMR vaccine. He screamed the entire way home despite being given Tylenol to ease any pain. Within a week, Noah lost over half his vocabulary. This concerned us greatly and we made an appointment with our pediatrician to discuss this sudden loss in speech. We were quickly reassured that nothing was wrong, Noah was “perfect” and just being a “boy.”
At 25 months, our GI doctor decided it was time to perform an endoscopy with sedation as Noah was still getting sick with meals and at night. Nothing was discovered during this procedure and we were told to continue giving Noah his medicine and to come back in six months. Noah began having constant tantrums post-op. He hated going places or any change in his routine. We addressed this with our pediatrician yet again and were told, “It’s the terrible two’s” and was “nothing out of the ordinary.” Noah was again given an autism screening, which he again passed.
At 27 months, Noah was given the Flu Mist vaccine. That night, he developed a high fever and slept on his bedroom floor. Noah continued to sleep on his floor for the next six months. Within days of the vaccination, Noah became very ill with flu-like symptoms, then he stopped making eye contact, and began lining up his toys and spinning in circles. He became fascinated with ceiling fans and appliances. He lost even more words and, within a week, he was completely mute. On January 7, 2012, Noah was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Sensory Processing Disorder and Developmental Delay.
The first week after the diagnosis, I grieved. I cried, I screamed. I questioned my faith and I prepared myself mentally for a worst case scenario. I felt as if I had lost my son. My husband spent hours researching treatments and therapies and then suggested we try a biomedical approach. I scoffed at him and told him those people were just selling “snake oil” and preying upon the helpless. I refused to hear him out. Then one day my mother-in-law brought over some books about autism from the library, including “Louder then Words,” which I remember reading with tears streaming down my face, thinking this is my son. For the first time since the diagnosis, I felt hope.
I immersed myself in research and discovered TACA. We made an appointment with a local DAN! (now MAPS) doctor. Our first focus was to work on healing Noah’s gut. After overuse of antibiotics and a history of reflux, we knew there was a lot of damage to be repaired. Our very first successful protocol was the GFCFSF diet. I decided to ignore all the testing, throw caution to the wind and remove all of Noah’s reflux and IBS medicine. He went on the diet cold turkey and within a week had stopped throwing up and stopped spinning.
Next came the addition of probiotics and digestive enzymes. Within a month, his bowel movements were beginning to appear normal. Our next big hitter was the addition of Cod Liver Oil (CLO.) Days after beginning this supplement, Noah’s eye contact returned. Our speech therapist was blown away with how much he had improved in such a short amount of time. I was so impressed with our CLO results that we decided to try it on our Neurotypical (NT) daughter, who suffered from strabismus. Three weeks later, CLO gave our daughter what two botched surgeries could not -- straight eyes and perfect vision.
With the addition of antifungals (first Diflucan and then later Grapeseed extract, biotin and garlic), we began to tackle Noah’s yeast, thus easing his hyperactive behavior. This, along with Epsom salt baths, made it so Noah stopped nearly all self stimulatory behavior. Six weeks into a yeast protocol, he stopped lining up toys and began using some speech again. Epsom salts along with melatonin and 5HTP brought us sleep, plus Noah stopped sleeping on his bedroom floor and was finally sleeping through the night again. Later, with the addition of methyl folate and methyl B-12, even more of Noah’s speech returned.
Now two years into biomedical treatment, Noah’s ATEC score has dropped almost 80 points. When we began biomedical, Noah scored a 105, one year later it was an 80. To our surprise (and excitement), Noah recently scored a 29. Noah now communicates primarily through PECS and sign language along with some spoken word. He has recently said the words Momma, Dadda, more, ready and love you. He is no longer constipated or throwing up. He sleeps through the night, no longer has self stimulatory behavior, and has begun to make friends and play with his sister. Noah is well on his way to being potty-trained and will follow verbal commands (stop, come, pick up, etc). Noah no longer bolts in public, bangs his head or rocks. In addition to his private therapy schedule of speech therapy and occupational therapy twice per week, Noah attends Pre-K four mornings each week and will play with the NT children and wait in line for recess with them. Noah is not yet recovered, but in two short years, he has come so very far. We look forward to sharing an update on Noah and his continued progress.