Monday, February 28, 2011

Post DTaP Summary

Dante just had his last dose of DTaP yesterday and I am super happy with the results so far.  First of all, most symptoms post-remedy have lasted a very short time and have not been difficult at all.  I wonder if the fact that he was using homeopathy for over a year before we started CEASE is currently helping him with the clearings...I don't know.  Anyway, he had a wonderful weekend!  

Dante went sledding on the snow for the first time!  He went with his babysitter’s family, her 8 year old son and his friends.  Dante had a great time with no tantrums!  He sled down four times, in spite of the fact that he complained climbing up the hill, of course.  He would have preferred to be carried up the hill! 

He is showing more age-appropriate behavior, standing casually and patiently while us adults chat.  He also engaged for a little while in a video conference call with my brother and his baby girl.  Dante also stayed with me on the couch while watching the Oscars last night, instead of standing by the TV requesting one of his DVDs be put on!  

Lastly, Dante is requesting more and more to play with his wood letters, spelling out words!  His desire to learn really warms my heart.  Today his babysitter tested him placing by 4 letters on the board and requesting that he give her a specific one.  He got 3 letters correct before he got tired (Yes, we need to work on that stamina!), and he got 3 colors correct on a different test she tried.  He is asking for this work every day, whereas before we would be able to do it maybe once, and then for months he would no longer show interest.  

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Post DTaP 1M: Joy and Some Initiative!

Dante has completed the two doses of DtaP 1M between Friday and Monday.  He has had very happy days with mostly good things happening.  Below are the positives (+) and the not great (-) things observed.

+ I am SO HAPPY, Dante’s digestion seems to be improving!!!  He hasn’t had Motrin for 3 weeks!!!!  That is huge, since he sometimes needs it several times a week.  This weekend I made him a smoothie with his first mango ever and he did not have pain the next day.  He loved his smoothie!  Yeay!

+ I decided to test Dante’s ability to identify words.  Dante was thrilled.  I wrote two different words on separate post-it notes and either present them to him side by side from my hands, or sticking up side by side on the table in front of him.  He would pick his selection and then hand me the post-it note.  He chose correctly:  dog (vs. cat), two (vs. one), papa (vs. mama), No (vs. Si), and fish (vs. dog).  When he got tired he stopped paying attention and got up from his chair and walked away, so I went to do something on the computer.  A little while later he walked up to me and handed me the Sharpie marker I had used to write the words with, and I couldn’t figure out why he was doing that.  Next he went and sat at his table, where we were working choosing words.  That’s when I realized he wanted more word work!  Dante never wants more work!  That is a miracle indeed for my boy!!!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Oh, so this is what a vaccine clearing can look like!

This week I had a better understanding of what parents go through when their child reacts to a vaccine “clearing” and let me tell you: it is very stressful!  If you read my post from Monday you know how our week started out.  Monday was definitely the hardest day this week.  Dante did become very happy in the afternoon, however.  In fact, when I asked him, “How are you?”, he actually responded via the ipad, “I’m having a tough day”. 
So that is some good news and bad news all rolled into one!  I would never have expected him to choose so appropriately a response!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Not the most fun day in Dante’s World

Bright red cheeks at 8 months 
On those days I decide to indulge in some measure of self-pity, the one thing that comes to mind is how high a price we pay for any slip-up with a child who has autism.  At least in the case of Dante, a missed dose of medicine, eating the wrong food, having too much probiotic, you name it, it may have a dramatic impact on him.  I’ve often been very hard on myself for forgetting this or that, imagining that I could have prevented yet another downturn during Dante’s day.  I Thank God for helping me see the light so that I chose to try homeopathy for myself.  Since I’ve been taking it, the days of self-pity have been pretty minimal.  My mom remarked to me just yesterday, when I told her how much better I cope and how tolerant I am when on my remedy: “Well, that’s what Lexapro does for me!”  :-)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Clearing the DtaP Vaccine – 30c potency

Dante had his first DtaP remedy dose on Friday, Feb. 4th, and had a fantastic weekend following that. He had his second DtaP dose three days later, on Monday. These are my notes on these days after the remedy:

• I began noticing symptoms from the clearing on the third night after the first dose, he slept a bit more than usual and I had to wake him for school.
• He was more tired than usual (especially on that third day), slept longer at night, and had half hour naps at school. His energy has increased as the days passed after the remedy. He went to bed on his own when tired!
• For a couple of days his hands and head were very sensitive. He got upset when I put lotion on his hands, put his shirts on over his head, and also when I brushed his teeth.
Today: Dante and Luna enjoy
the trampoline in very different ways
• His appetite went down in general.
• He was very happy at school, his words continue, and he’s been pretty easygoing. He approximates his babysitter’s name and called me “AM” (instead of “MA”? Yeah, I don’t get that either, but he’s used it with me for a while).
• He continues to play more on his own.
I will report again in a few days on how he is doing after the clearing symptoms pass.

Please wish us continued progress!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Beginning Dante’s First “Clearing” – DTaP

Sacc Off is a good thing!
This past week was Dante’s second week on Saccharum Officinale 6x or “Sacc Off”, and the news is very good. He has been SO different than before this remedy; each day he just seems happier and more connected. Of course coming off of a terrible yeast die-off any change seems good, but this isn’t any change. This is definitely something better. If impairment were like an onion, I can definitely see these very fine layers of issues peeling away -- the changes are so subtle but so noticeable.
So in general, Dante was more easygoing during the week. Some specific good things (+) and not great (-) things we observed were:

Thursday, February 3, 2011

You can actually measure this thing!

One way to measure progress with any approach for autism is to use the Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist (ATEC) to evaluate your child before (referred to as "baseline") and then after (or throughout) the treatment.  Even though I have a detailed list of Dante's characteristics on the "Starting Point" page, I really like the idea of an actual metric.  Well, 'like it' is not the best way to put it.  I mean, Dante scores closer to the severe than to mild autism, but that is where we are now.  This is one test were a lower score is a better score.  

I present below the four areas measured by the ATEC score:  Speech, Sociability, Sensory/Cognitive Awareness, and Health/Physical/Behavior.  Each scale has a different range, and is distributed according to the results of the baseline scores for the first 1358 children assessed with it.  I highlighted where Dante's current scores fall in bright yellow.  The first column below shows the percentile each row falls within. Which means, for example, that if severe autism is 100%, Dante's speech falls within 60-69% of that.  Actually his total score (which was 86), also falls within 60-69% of the spectrum.  The goal is to get that number as low as possible; I would like him to totally fail this Autism test!

If you complete the ATEC Checklist for your child (which doesn't even take 20 minutes), you get the results and each of the questions with your answers emailed to you immediately.  I want to thank the mom blogger for The Boy Who Walked Backwards for reminding me of this test.  I had attempted to fill it out years ago from a different site and it never worked for me.  This time I printed out the results and made some notes on why I answered some of the questions the way I did, just to be clear on what my initial assumptions were for the next time I assess Dante.

So an 86 total score it is.  Sounds like a "B", but it's really not.  We're aiming for a full blown "F-" on this one!  Tomorrow we begin the first vaccine clearing, DTaP.  The great week I posted about has continued, so we begin the clearings on a very high note.  I hope Dante's body is perfectly positioned to work through this next phase very successfully!


Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist ATEC Report