As a mom who has seen a miracle happen: don’t believe the widespread lie that children are born this way. Don’t believe the therapists when they tell you everything your child won’t do. Don’t believe the medical establishment when they tell you there is nothing can be done to help your child. Don’t EVER give up. And don’t be afraid to hope, because Autism Is Treatable!
Kaylee was born healthy and normal with an Agar score of 9. She hit her developmental milestones on time, and was a happy baby. Kaylee was social, loved music, and enjoyed reading books several times a day with me. Never once did the word “autism” cross my mind as even a possibility.
She loved when I would say “How big is Kaylee?” She would happily respond with her hands over her head and say, “So big!” At twelve months of age, Kaylee pulled my face to hers and gave me a big messy kiss. After that and only a few weeks later, my Kaylee seemed to disappear. She became an empty shell of herself. She no longer kissed me, or say “so big” anymore. She didn’t respond to her name, and lost her speech altogether.
At first, I sloughed it off as a temporary setback. I never dreamed that there was something very wrong with my baby. When she still had not regained her speech at sixteen months, I googled “Child not talking at 16 months.” The word, “Autism,” appeared and I could hardly breathe as I read that awful word. In my heart I knew it was true, yet still I couldn’t let myself believe it.
One year later, my daughter was officially diagnosed with what was called a “moderate” case of Autism Spectrum Disorder or ASD by one of the top specialists in the state of Illinois. After we were given the news, I broke down right there in the doctor’s office. I lost that shred of hope that maybe she didn’t have the A-word. The specialist told us there was nothing we could do for her besides the behavior modification therapy (ABA) that we could not afford. At least the doctor was compassionate when she told us the gut-wrenching news. I could see in her eyes that she thought that this was only the beginning of the heartbreak we were in for… But how wrong she was.
I could not let go of the feeling that my girl was sick! She was thin, pale, and had dark circles under her eyes. She never slept through the night. She had terrible bouts of diarrhea, a constantly runny nose, and transient low grade fevers. How could this all just be part of autism?
When I was awakened one night by the sound of Kaylee’s making strange noises, I prayed to God to help me figure out how to help her. She seemed so far away, like I didn’t know who she was. All of her personality was wrapped up in her obsessions. She was so disconnected from me. I wrote in my journal through tears, “I want to know her; I want to know who my little girl is!” Somehow I knew God heard me. I hoped He would lead me to the right place. I went to bed hurting, but with inner peace.
A friend told me about a clinic in New York that did medical treatments for autism by addressing immune system dysfunction. I went to New York with Kaylee and saw Dr. Bruce Russell. (That’s where he practiced, before he moved to Texas.) We started treatment right away. Kaylee went on antiviral and antifungal medication and she slowly started coming back to us. Three weeks after her first dose of Valtrex (an antiviral medication) Kaylee looked into my eyes and called me “Mom.” She had never said that before.
Next we addressed her allergies to remove the stress and cool down her immune system. We used a special treatment called Provocation/Neutralization (P/N) to treat them. Her tantrums, hyperactivity, allergies, and food intolerances improved dramatically. Kaylee started to sleep through the night and answer simple questions. Over time, she improved more and more, catching up to her peers.
Now my daughter loves to dance, and sing, wear make-up and sparkly clothes. She is the sweetest and friendliest girl I ever met. Kaylee was recently retested by her school district. After two years of medical interventions, she no longer fits the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) diagnosis. Today, Kaylee does not receive speech therapy, OT, or “sensory diets” because all her sensory problems are gone. In her mainstream second grade classroom (without an aide), Kaylee has many friends and is happy. I’m so blessed to know my little girl and have her back.