by Marcia Hinds – Megan and Ryan’s Mom
Autism is not the cause of the medical conditions our children suffer from. In reality, it is the other way around. We have to stop looking at this backwards. Children with autism have immune systems that don’t function properly. If the problems can be addressed, kids can recover like my son did. Ryan is now an aerospace engineer doing all the things the “experts” said could never happen.
Finding a doctor to help us wasn’t easy and the treatment our children need is often not covered by insurance. Doctor shopping costs money, valuable time, and is the source of frustration for families stranded on Autism Island. When autism is a part of the picture, underlying medical conditions are sadly and inexplicably just attributed to the autism diagnosis. Is it really okay that our children do not get the medical treatment they should and that most of our children’s medical problems go undiagnosed? The answer to that question is a big “NO!”. If screaming from the rooftops that our children need proper medical treatment helped, I would be up on the roof right now.
Sometimes my son’s immune system was underactive and didn’t respond at all. Other times, it was working over-time fighting off infections that were no longer a threat. This is why some children with autism are sick all the time while others never appear sick at all. This immune problem can be triggered by a plethora of things; viruses, retroviruses, yeast, bacteria, allergens, chemicals, trauma (both physical and emotional) and determining what causes issues is difficult.
Once the problems that overload the system invade the body, they replicate (set up housekeeping in the cells) and continue to trigger the immune system. Sometimes the body gets the offending trigger under control and things stabilize for a while. However, when another trigger comes along (seasonal allergies are a common one), the problem starts all over again.
One mom I know did the logical thing and went to an immunologist to find treatment. After running many tests, her immune specialist called to say THE IMMUNE PANEL CAME BACK NORMAL! When she looked at the labs, FOUR things immediately jumped out as being a problem. The IMMUNOLOGIST failed to mention any of them.
We need to change the thinking out there. The majority of doctors do not treat the medical problems associated with ASD. They think the issues are just part of autism and still mistakenly believe autism is a developmental disorder. Even if you find a doctor, you still have to trust your gut. Some “autism specialists” do things that can be harmful. Although thereare professionals to help us, parents are ultimately responsible for the decisions affecting their children.
Autism is not just one thing, it is many things. Multiple specialists are sometimes needed to address all the medical conditions children have. Complicated problems, like autism, don’t have easy answers. This is why one child with autism often looks very different from another. If the medical issues were the same for all kids, more kids would recover. But that is not how it works.
Most children improve with medical treatment, but that only makes it possible for them to learn. Medical intervention alone is not enough. Our children still need intensive rehabilitation to catch them up on all they missed. Parents, behaviorists, educators, and medical professionals must work as a team to help kids get better. Each of us has a piece of the puzzle.
NOTE FROM MARCIA HINDS – Megan and Ryan’s mom:
Ryan became an aerospace engineer, because he received proper medical treatment combined with behavioral, and educational interventions.
Contact info for Marcia: