by Marcia Hinds – Megan and Ryan’s Mom
Why are we all afraid to use prescription drugs to help our children? I used to be one of those parents who only wanted to use supplements and natural remedies. But I changed my mind. Some of our children need prescription drugs to get better. I am thrilled for those who have recovered their kids with only the use of supplements. But that didn’t work for us. Maybe because I couldn’t get my son to take them all, there were just too many.
Now I think we should use whatever works. MD’s or DO’s who use both supplements and prescriptions are the best kind of doctors. That’s why I tell the families I help to look for a functional medicine doctor or an immunologist for medical treatment. The doctor who helped my son most was not an autism specialist, but a pediatrician who understood how to correct the problems with his immune system. Finding the right doctor still remains one of our biggest challenges. Here is a blog post with websites to help you locate a doctor where you live https://autism-and-treatment.com/2017/04/11/find-right-doctor-beat-autism/ And if you don’t see significant improvement in six months it is time to start the search again.
For Ryan, antivirals and antifungal medication had a huge impact. When I first looked up the side effects for these prescription drugs, I was terrified. I soon realized that if my son is going to have a chance at a typical life, I needed to do something. It took time for me to learn I could always stop a medication if it wasn’t helping or if a problem showed up on a blood test. And a major “AH HA” moment for me was when I finally understood that I didn’t have to get it right on the first try and that U-turns are allowed in autism recovery.
When Ryan was in middle school, my dream was that some day he might be able to hold a job at McDonald’s and live independently. But at that time, I wasn’t sure that was possible. Today he is an aerospace engineer at a major company. I never saw that one coming when he was still severely affected by autism.
Some children are able to stop these prescriptions when their immune system starts working again. As of yet, my son isn’t one of them. Ryan has been on an antifungal prescription continuously since he was about 5 and an antiviral since he was 10. When Ryan tried to stop the antifungal medication a few years back, he said he felt a compulsion to talk to himself out loud. So he went back on them. Ryan alternates between several medicines to make sure they remain effective. When he builds up a tolerance to a medication and it stops working, he switches to another. (For Ryan, he needs to alternate medications about once a year.)
Some of our doctors have such a long list of supplements that is impossible to get our children to take all of them. We have to use the things that will give us the biggest gains. Most of our dedicated doctors don’t seem to understand this piece of the puzzle. They don’t give the medications at a high enough dose or some think they can give these medications for a short time and stop them. At 30, my son still takes antivirals and antifungal medication along with a few others to keep his immune system working properly. However, each of our children are different and need medical treatment individually tailored for them.
For my son the things that helped him the most was eliminating dairy from his diet and the use of antifungal, antiviral and Leucovorin prescriptions. Check out this blog post about Antivirals and Antifungals https://autism-and-treatment.com/2016/12/21/kids-sometimes-get-worse-get-better/ And also check out this blog post about the MTHFR gene mutation and how to counteract the problem with Leucovorin. https://autism-and-treatment.com/2018/02/03/heck-mthfr-gene-mutation-autism/
I long for the day when someone gives the world a “cure” for autism. But for now, we just manage it. It helps me to think of as a treatment and not a cure. I compare it to the way a diabetic needs insulin to make their systems work properly.
The medical treatment only makes it “possible” for our children to learn. Some parents think that once treated our children will immediately start talking in full sentences. But it takes a typical kid almost three years to learn language. We can’t assume the medical treatment isn’t working. An intensive rehab program is needed to catch our children up on all they missed. Any program you chose works when the medical issues have been addressed. When medical treatment is combined with rehab, that makes the rehab programs work faster and recovery is possible for those who couldn’t recover before.
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. To preview my book, “I Know You’re In There – winning our war against autism”go to Amazon or my website www.autism-and-treatment.com
Contact info for Marcia: