The neurologist who diagnosed Caroline with verbal apraxia and sensory processing disorder, was a compassionate,
older gentleman... the kind you'd expect to find portraying a loving grandfather in a Lifetime movie of the week.  And
since it was one of life's traumatic moments, I remember every word of his diagnosis, especially the statement, "Don't let
anyone tell you she has autism, she doesn't, she's far too socially aware."

Although I knew next to nothing about autism, I was afraid of it, so I clung to those words for hope... Hope that I wouldn't
ever have to learn about autism or live in a world that was consumed by autism.  A world that now, of course, I can
barely remember what it's like
not to be living in.  

Although the good doctor was well intentioned with his words, unfortunately, they cost us precious time that could've
been spent learning and healing.  So, I hope to share a little wisdom I've learned along the way.

When I researched sensory processing disorder and verbal apraxia, I learned primarily about the definitions of the
disorders and that we needed to begin therapy... speech, occupational and developmental.  But that was about it, there
were no real explanations of any underlying root causes of her problems.

It wasn't until nearly a year had passed and Caroline's therapy wasn't resulting in much progress, that I decided maybe,
just maybe, I should take a peek into the world I wanted to know nothing about.

Ironically, it was there that I actually found real hope, and information that could help us fix our child!   I realized, what I
should have much, much earlier that the field of autism is where all the reasearch is.  It doesn't matter if your child
doesn't have all of the classic autism symptoms.  Even if they only have a few, the research can help.  There aren't too
many medical research studies being conducted on verbal apraxia.. but autism... well we just ended "Autism Awareness
Month"... need I say more?!

I began the research with her symptoms and looked for information specific to those and autism.  The more I read, the
more I realized that people really are "recovering" kids with autism and if I followed their research, they might lead me to
answers that could recover Caroline as well.

The doctors and parents obtaining the best results appeared to be those involved in finding and correcting the "root
causes" of medical issues that can present themselves as autistic-like symtoms.  

The root causes primarily involve autoimmune disorders and have been also implicated in causing ADHD, Asthma,
Allergies and many other issues.  When considering there's been an 18% increase in food allergies in the last decade, a
significant number of children may be able to be helped with the autism research.

So what is a "root cause"?  Some examples can be:
  • Underlying infections (often including yeast or bacterial)
  • Lack of digestive enzymes
  • Exposure to toxins
  • An immune system skewed too heavily toward Th-2 (a topic for the next blog entry)
  • Low thyroid function

As we started testing and treating Caroline's underlying issues, many of her symptoms disappeared, some of them within
days.  

An example that relates to all too many children, was her battle with eczema.  She had persistent eczema for over two
years.  The kind that seemed to flare when you so much as glanced at her skin the wrong way.  It was agonizing.  As she
constantly picked at her peeling fingers, I bought all the special creams, lotions and a few supposedly 'magic' potions,
but none of them granted my wishes.  

Not until we started addressing the underlying problem, which turned out to be a systemic yeast infection, did we see
lasting results.  Within a week of treating her yeast with diflucan, her skin was completely healed... making me a believer
of getting to the root of a problem.

If you're interested in more information about determining what medical issues might be causing your child's
  • language difficulty
  • sensory issues
  • attention defecit disorder
  • auditory processing delay
  • asthma
  • allergies or
  • any autistic symptoms,
a great place to start is "Healing the New Childhood Epidemics" by Dr. Kenneth Bock.  In his book, he describes in
detail how to begin sorting out possible root causes.  Please see the "
getting started" section of this site for more
information about it.

To help our children, there may not be a magic potion, but if you research, test and treat root causes, you can achieve
amazing results.  And if I were I were a kindly neurologist in a white coat, offering a diagnosis to parents hearing their
lives were about to be forever changed, that is what I would say.
May 1, 2011

Allergies, Asthma, ADHD, and Autism... healing the 4-A disorders