Natural Autism Support (Monster Included!)

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What does a Blue Monster have to do with healing from autism? Find out here.

Life is hard.

When dealing with symptoms of autism (as with all special needs), it’s harder.

But we are still a family.

We still love each other.

We still have fun.

Here is a story of autism, family, love, and fun.  And healing.

It was a typical day.  I was busy doing things that were on “my agenda.”  The boys had done some homeschooling, but they were goofing around again.  You know — the way things typically go with boys and more so with one on the spectrum who has a hard time staying on task (though I must admit that sometimes it is my neuro-typical one who isn’t “on task” :-)!)

Usually, I hear the goofing around and I say in a not-as-gentle-as-it-should-be tone, “Come on…have you done your _________  (fill in the blank with the task, chore or school subject that I assume hasn’t been done) yet?”

But this day, something seemed different, so I decided to really listen to what was being said, or rather, er — sung.

Then I went into the other room and saw it.  Them.  And laughed.

Here were my two boys, snug like two bugs in a  —

laundry bag :-).  Stomping around and chanting —

“Here comes a four-footed monster.  We are a four-footed monster….”

I saw it.  And relished in it.

My sons pretending together.

I stopped what I was doing, smiled and grabbed my camera.  (Here’s the monster on the floor :-)!)

of autism aspergers

This playtime might seem like a small thing, but there are 2 reasons that this was really “big” for me:

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1.  My son’s symptoms of autism (Asperger’s Syndrome) are getting better.

One of the symptoms of autism or Asperger’s Syndrome in children is that they do not pretend.

Everything is literal.  Black and white.

But that day, he was playing with his ultra-creative younger brother, and having a great time!

I am not sure what is helping, but the progress we have seen in our son’s life is real

Well, whether it’s his restricted diet, metal detox, growing up, or just a miracle from God, I’ll take it.

2.  Interruptions can be a blessing.

I was interrupted, but it was great.  I could have gotten annoyed that they were goofing off, but instead, I chose to relish the moment.

The playing – the chanting – the pretending.  Real progress.

Please, Lord, remind me of this moment of grace during his next panic attack.  I’m still learning.

How about you?
What Natural Supports for Autism have worked for you?

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59 Comments

  1. I’m looking forward to looking at your and your readers’ experiences with the detoxification issues. That was another issue that came out of extensive medical tests that were performed on my son 3+ years ago…he was in the 95th percentile for heavy/toxic metals (cadmium, arsenic, mercury, lead, many others). The doctor felt that instead of attempting any (non-natural) chelaton therapies, if we implemented the FF/CF/SF diet my son’s body would become capable of naturally expelling these toxins. We’ve done the best we can in the meanwhile to avoid adding to his toxic burden (organic foods, natural household and personal cleaners)and the only chelation I’ve put C through is the occasional epsom salt soak. I would bet my pinkie that if the medical testing was performed on him today the levels would be much lower – however, the tests were very expensive and (of course) not covered by insurance…
    Anyway, I’m really looking forward to digging into your blog. I agree with the comments I’ve seen above that the broadness of the topics you discuss is great.
    Take care…Tracy

    1. Hi Tracy. I just wanted to quickly touch base with you (I have to go out to an autism free day at a nearby gym :-)). I was struck by your comments about the heavy metals. I am actually working with a practitioner on the heavy metals whom I am really satisfied with. I don’t get anything from referring people to her, just so you know. I have links to her in my posts on adrenal fatigue. She is quite reasonable and uses only natural supplements and diet to “coax” the metals out of your body. I would be happy to talk with you more about it. Just let me know. I really hope to share a lot more about this, but it is so complicated that it is going to take awhile to write all of the posts :-).

      And thank you for the sweet compliment. I am just trying to write about what is on my mind and heart and help others muddle through all this stuff. And hopefully have a bit of fun while doing it :-).
      ~Take care!

  2. Our son was diagnosed with autism in 2007 at the age of 3. He was non-verbal, on another planet, sensory issues, mild obsessions with certain colors/animals/toys. After 4 years of a GF/CF/SF diet, mostly organic foods, ABA therapy, speech therapy, and a merciful God, he is now void of any autism symptoms. He will talk your ear off, is compassionate and funny, BRILLANT (2nd grade, reads on a 9th grade level), well-liked by his teachers and classmates, never goes anywhere where he doesn’t make at least one new friend. He is mainstreamed in a ‘regular’ classroom. We voluntarily ended his ABA therapy last year and he receives consultation-only speech and resource services through the school system now. He will have an official re-evaluation in a couple of months and everyone who teaches or has professional interaction with him agrees that he will lose the autism diagnosis…GOD IS GOOD!

    1. Wow, Tracy. That is amazing. I have days where I think mine is going to lose his diagnosis, and then other days when I think it will never happen. I do trust we are really headed in the right direction, however, and am trying to live with and love him no matter what. There are things I would miss about autism,for sure. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Hi There Adrienne~

    (In response to your previous message):

    I’ve posted my homemade eczema lotion! The post is long…I just had so much to say about my son’s journey with eczema and holistic healing. It works great for his current needs.

    Be Well,
    –Amber

    1. Amber,
      Thanks! Wow. Your story about eczema sounds so similar to ours. I think, thank God, that we are over all of that, but I sure will remember if I need to treat bad eczema again. We ended up going totally sugar free – even fruit – for myself and my son and his eczema went completely away. Small bits since then, but it has seemed to be tied to copper toxicity as we are working on metal detox now. Anyway, those days when he was small were really tough.

      I read a bit of your story. Very encouraging. It is so interesting how many people are “touched” by these difficult illnesses. I cannon believe sometimes what we have been through and I have to remember that it is all for a reason. You take care too.

      ~Adrienne

    1. Thanks for sharing, Robin. I read your post. It is so nice to focus on the good times, isn’t it? Hard, but important. Hang in there. ~Adrienne

  4. This was a very special post for me. My son has been having issues for years now and I’m finally taking him to get a real diagnosis next Friday. He has shown many symptoms of autism but because he was super intelligent no one ever took my fears seriously. I soon did online research and found a form called savant autism and that proved that he may fall into this category. I love that you have shown that no mater what life and love goes on. Bless you!!!

    1. Thank you, Valencia. Your story sounds sort of like ours. Even the first person who evaluated our son officially said that he thought if our son fell on the spectrum it was mildly. The next two evaluations said that he was clearly an easy Asperger’s diagnosis. It’s murky waters for sure. But to us it was so obvious that something was wrong. Bless you as well.

  5. Thank you for sharing this very beautiful and meaningful post with the Gallery of Favorites. It’s so encouraging to see healing like that!

  6. Thanks for linking your great post to FAT TUESDAY. This was very touching!And filled with hope! Can’t wait for next week!

    Be sure to visit RealFoodForager.com on Sunday for Sunday Snippets – your post from Fat Tuesday may be featured there!

  7. What a great post. Our daughter has Sotos syndrome and Autism. I just seem to live life day by day with her…but never did much about hre diet. Maybe it’s time to change. Maybe it would help with her behaviour (one can only hope) LOL.

    1. Connie, I would for sure recommend the GF CF diet. And sugars. I’d be happy to help any way that I can. It’s not a cure all, but there is just too much evidence out there not to try. But try to do whole grains as much as possible. Blessings, ~Adrienne

  8. Hi There Adrienne~

    Thank you for your response to my previous comment!

    I have been thinking about your message and I would venture to say most bloggers feel this way. As busy mom bloggers with numerous interests, hobbies and passions, I think it’s difficult to not share these different elements on our blogs. For me I knew my blog was going to be food-based, but I also have a deep interest and passion for the environment & green living, organization and holistic healing. It took me months and months to finally nail down my concept; and then it’s okay, now how do I present this to the world? I personally feel that your navigation bars are very user friendly and you “get what you click” so to speak. One option would be to start a family blog to post more about your children if you wanted to keep it more separate (and you could have a link to this blog on your current blog), but I love it when mom bloggers take time to reflect on their children in one way or another…or share personal feelings on certain subjects. I’m guessing this is what Heart and Soul is about…more personal musings. But please don’t stop blogging about autism and subjects related to autism. This information needs to get out there. In reality, these are your kiddos, and like all mom bloggers, they will make their way into the blog in some shape or form…I think this is expected. My son has eczema so this a subject of interest to me and this week I will be posting about it. I made a simple lotion for his skin that worked great and I want to share this with others. I believe this is what most of us are feeling when we post…we just need to get it out there. I feel your post absolutely has to do with health…it has to do with living, with being a mom, being a mom blogger who had the great opportunity to witness and then share this touching moment between your children (touching and thrilling for the development of your son’s social skills!!!). Keep sharing your life, it’s what makes blogging so special. And don’t fret if it all doesn’t fit into one neat, perfect little blog package. 🙂

    Take Care Adrienne
    –Amber

    1. Thanks for your sweet and “thoughtful thoughts” Amber. I agree with you on all points. I am glad you find my navigation bars helpful. I have been wanting to tweak them, but haven’t had time. Too much – I could always be doing something :-). I would love to hear about your lotion! I have plans to make one as well. Eczema isn’t the awful issue here that it once was, however. Have you heard about copper toxicity? We are working on metals now and there seems to be a correlation to me. Very interesting and complex, these bodies of ours…

      Take good care – off to hopefully play piano w/ the family. :-).
      ~Adrienne

  9. I was moved by your post. As a mother with a child with the ASD, the smallest achievements are really big for us. My ten year old son was diagnosed with ASD when he was six. He has come a long way since then. He is now doing independent study on some of his classes and interacting with others. Imaginary plan came easi;y for him once he was able to interact with his two high imaginitive older brothers. To this day, through imaginary play is how our fourteen year old son has found that he can communicate and have a meaningful relationship with his youngest brother. One of the things that helped our son the most was IM Therapy (Interactive Metronome Therapy). It is therapy that rewires the brain. It is not only recommended for children with ASD but for chilren with ADD and ADHD. I would highly recommend that parents check into a center in your area to see if your child can benefit from this therapy.

  10. I just found you today and I am so thankful I did. We start a dairy free/ gluten free/ sugar free diet tomorrow for our son. He has failed one grade already and stuggling to keep up in his class now. He has always showed ADD and ADHD symptoms and HUGE problems learning. We took him in to a Dr to be tested for learning problems and he suggested diet change instead of medication. He suggested ‘Dr. Bob’s guide to stopping ADHD’ book as a starting point. That was two weeks ago and since I have read countless websites, articles, and several books on diet change helping children with these issues. I almost fell over dead after watching Dr Lusing (sp?) Sugar: The Bitter Truth on youtube. Today is the day I planned on preparing food that can be made ahead of time for this next week. I am super excited about your GF Focaccia Flax Bread. My son is a breadaholic and I could not find any bread recipes that I can make to fit his new diet. I really cannot tell you enough how thankful I am for the info you share here. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

    1. Hi Crystal- So nice to meet you! I have to go I just had to say that since going GF and Sugar free we have seen a lot of changes. Also, more recently, we are doing Nutritional Balancing for metal and toxin removal. I so hope you like the Flax Bread. The biscuits are great too. My kids have been asking for bread recently as well (I’ve become a lazy baker these days and get discouraged b/c I make a really mean whole wheat bread – but no more :-(). Anyway, I found a new recipe that I want to try to I will share this if it’s a winner!

      I really was blessed by your encouragement. As you can see in the comments, I struggled about writing this post. Sometimes I think I should just stick to recipes, but the other parts of life are so intertwined. And I really want community with my readers in this way. Take good care!

      ~Adrienne

    2. Crystal, I am a “re-skilled” homemade bread baker. I have used parts of at least 10 different recipes and I think I have come up with a winner. I have made it twice now with consistency. My kids and husband love it and it makes a terrific sandwich bread. Like any homemade bread, the shelf life is short, but then my family is large and we go through a whole loaf in one day. I don’t know how to link the recipe, so I will just post it here. It tastes a little like a whole wheat bread. Hopefully, you will enjoy it.

      LAURA’S BREAD MACHINE GLUTEN FREE BREAD
      1 cup water
      3 eggs
      2 T. dairy free milk (I usually use homemade brown rice milk, but soy or almond work just as well)
      2 t. cider vinegar
      1 t. salt
      1 t. baking soda
      3 T. molasses
      3 T. raw honey
      1 ½ T. olive oil (or dairy free butter alternative)
      2 t. xanthan gum
      1/2 t. ascorbic acid or citric acid
      3 cups all purpose gluten free flour (I use the Bread Flour Mix B recipe from Annelise Roberts, “Gluten Free Baking Classics”, but substitute ¼ c. soy or buckwheat flour for part of the all purpose gluten free flour)
      1T. active dry yeast
      Whisk flour, xanthan gum and ascorbic acid in a large bowl until well combined. Place all ingredients in the bread machine in the order listed. Use the Basic setting with the light crust option. After the second knead, remove dough (it will resemble batter) from the bread machine. Spread dough into a greased 9 x 5 loaf pan. Using a silicon spatula, smooth the top and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 to 35 minutes. Crust should be golden brown and there should be a hollow sound when the bottom is thumped. Cool bread in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before cutting.

  11. I am rather new to your site, but I have already learned so much from you. Perhaps those that want you to “tighten” up your site don’t really understand that nutrition and health go hand in hand with life in general. My youngest daughter has recently been diagnosed with ADD (she is 11). The meds they put her on were horrific and didn’t work. We are now in the 8th week of our dairy, gluten and refined sugar free diet (not to mention dyes and preservatives). Within the first two weeks of the diet change, we saw positive improvement. It is, as you say, the simple things that make the difference. We don’t have all the answers, but like you, we are willing to do what it takes to help our daughter grow into the healthy, happy, life enriching woman that we hope for her to be. Take care and many blessings to you!

    1. Laura,

      Wow. You really hit the nail on the head. That is why I called my blog “Whole New Mom” to begin with. My husband and I have had numerous conversations about this – how all of life is tied together. I think the advice, however, may have been more from the standpoint of showing me that some of the more successful blogs are those w/ a distinct focus. Like “whole foods recipes and tips” only. And also, to be fair, I have wanted to also (and have done a few) write a few posts on more controversial Biblical worldview issues. I for sure don’t want to come across as judgmental – God knows that I have enough flaws of my own to write numerous “judgmental” things about 🙂 – but I feel it is so important to keep ourselves sharp and “tell it like it is”. Anyway, I am so glad that you stopped by. I wish you well as you walk forward and i would love to hear how things are going for you. It’s rough. You are right. I am willing to do what it takes, but it isn’t easy all the time. Blessings on you as well! ~Adrienne

    2. Laura, I just happened onto this site but felt I needed to comment. You have really ‘cowboyed up’ to initiate all those positive changes for your family. I realize that none of it is easy. I didn’t see you mention that you were supplementing with Vitamin D-3. If you are interested Dr. Cannell on the Vitamin D Council website will treat your autistic child for free…testing and consults, etc is all included. He ia having amazing results.

      1. Hi Elene – thanks!!! I would be very interested. How do I contact him? How did you come to know about him – and does he work with other than autistics?

        1. I got this from his website:Vitamin D deficiency clinic for children

          Here at our office in San Luis Obispo, we treat vitamin D deficiency in children by providing a blood test, supplements (if necessary) and helping and teaching parents how to monitor their children’s vitamin D status.

          We treat vitamin D deficiency in children with autism spectrum disorders remotely, as well, helping parents monitor their child’s 25(OH)D levels.

          For more information, contact Brant Cebulla at bcebulla@vitamindcouncil.org.

  12. I hardly ever comment on blogs, but when I read your response to Amber’s comment I just wanted to let you know that I think you have a great “niche” for your blog. My daughter discovered your blog recently and has been forwarding posts and recipes. She has 3 kids (twin two year olds and a one year old). They are on a very tight budget and the baby has multiple food allergies. She is transitioning her family to a whole food diet with lots of help from your blog. I love the variety of topics and have enjoyed exploring your blog. Thanks for sharing all that you have learned. Such a sweet post about your boys. Life is hard, but filled with so many blessings if we stop to enjoy them.

    1. Natalie,
      Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. If you read my comment to Laura (just after yours), you can see a bit more about the “niche” discussion. I am so glad to hear from you and glad to hear that some of what we have been through has been a blessing. I must say that it takes a lot of time to write a blog and if I worked out my “salary per hour” I would for sure quit. I am so blessed to hear that your daughter has been helped. Let me know if there is some specific way that I can help and I will do what I can. Blessings on you this weekend. ~Adrienne

  13. Wonderful moment of joy!

    I can so relate to that feeling of, “Why aren’t they doing what they’re supposed to be doing?” I often have to stop myself from stressing and just enjoy what my girl is doing instead. Lovely that you got to witness this special moment as a result.

  14. Your post brought tears to my eyes. I’ve worked with children with ASDs since 1999, and specifically children with Asperger’s (most recently running social-relational therapy groups before my second child was born).
    Years back I remember working for months and months with a mother on teaching pretend play to her son with autism. I cried with his mother as we hugged and jumped up and down when her son (without prompting)splashed a peer back while playing in a pool…what a wonderful day that was! Something so simple was so amazing. I wasn’t a mother at that time, and I think about those moments now as a mother and it’s all the more moving. I feel so much admiration for the families I worked with. Families that would do ANYTHING for their children.
    Siblings can provide the best playdates! What a beautiful thing you witnessed. I can so appreciate it, not directly as mother with a child with ASD, but as someone who knows and loves so many mothers that do, and as someone how knows and loves so many amazing children with ASDs. I understand how difficult it is to teach these behaviors, behaviors that come so naturally to typically developing children. Thank you for this post and thank you for your wonderful blog!
    Be Well, –Amber

    1. Amber,
      Thank you SO much for taking the time to leave such a heartfelt comment. I have recently been mulling over in my mind the “niche” of my blog. I have gotten counsel from some that I need to “tighten it up” since I write about many things … special diets, whole foods, health concerns like autism and chronic fatigue and metal toxicity (all related, in my opinion :-)), food freedom and faith issues and frugality. I struggled about whether or not to post this, though it does have to do with health. In any case, reading your comment makes me so glad that I finished it. I do need to watch my time as there are things that I need to do w/ my family (like photo albums) that have been suffering, but I am so blessed that this touched you – and your sentence about siblings being great playdates. I have felt bad homeschooling sometimes b/c I am not the do-it-all homeschool mom. We are more low key – and we don’t have tons of kids. But my boys, for all of our faults, do quite well together.

      Thanks again. Take good care, ~Adrienne