Wednesday, August 29, 2007

General Improvements!

Kyle has made some quite remarkable improvements, ironically, in the last two weeks. I say ironically, because he's been on a break away from the Child Developmental Center. More likely resulting in a coincidence rather than my superb skills of training (haha), Kyle has improved in meaningful speech and general response to commands. Kyle says "byebye" at appropriate times, even without prompting (or playback, aka echolalia). However, he does this on his own time, when he decides the person is worthy of saying "byebye" to. So far only his mother and his Grandpa Jim have been able to conjure up the friendly gesture. Secondly, Kyle has greatly improved in responding to the command, "Kyle come here." He immediately responds to the command with eye contact, and a sastisfying success rate of obedience (I would say 7/10 times). We look forward to many happy days ahead. Not very many parents get to celebrate as many milestones as we do. For that, I am thankful. 
Sincerely Yours,
Kyle's Daddy.     

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Doctor Charged in Autistic Boy's Death

Aug 22 02:49 PM US/EasternBy JOE MANDAKAssociated Press Writer
PITTSBURGH (AP) - A doctor was charged with involuntary manslaughter Wednesday for administering a chemical treatment that state police say killed a 5- year-old autistic boy.
The child, Abubakar Tariq Nadama, went into cardiac arrest at Dr. Roy E. Kerry's office immediately after undergoing chelation therapy on Aug. 23, 2005.
Chelation removes heavy metals from the body and is approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treating acute heavy metal poisoning, but not for treating autism. Some people who believe autism is caused by a mercury-containing preservative once used in vaccines say chelation may also help autistic children.
The boy's parents had moved from England to the Pittsburgh area to seek treatment for his autism. They have filed a wrongful death suit against Kerry, and the Department of State is trying to revoke his license.
The Department of State has alleged that Kerry prescribed an IV push—meaning the drugs are administered in one dose intravenously—despite warnings that the method could be lethal.
Slippery Rock District Judge Clifford Woessner's staff confirmed that an arrest warrant was issued for Kerry. It wasn't immediately clear if police planned to arrest Kerry or mail a summons.
Kerry's Advanced Integrative Medicine has offices in Greenville and Potersville. The receptionist at the Greenville office said Kerry was treating patients and was not immediately available for comment Wednesday.
Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

GFCF Diet, Take (2...3...4? I don't know!)

After listening to an absolutely captivating and remarkable nutritionist at the Autism Conference named Elizabeth Strickland, we decided to try the GFCF for a second round. She explained some things to us that made sense, and convinced us we need to give it an honest try. Kyle displays some symptoms of an allergy to at least milk. This time around, we have to be soy free. Some kids react to soy just like they do gluten. It all made sense when she explained it. And we'll give it a full three months, as that is the most recommended length (although I'm not convinced it needs to be that long).
I'm not expecting a miracle. I'm pretty sure Kyle won't be cured. But if it makes his Gastro-Intestinal issues improve, then that will be good.

We took him off milk today. So now he's drinking calcium fortified chocolate rice milk. He never drinks milk unless it's chocolate...haha. We let him, b/c it's one of the things in life he really enjoys. The nutritionist gave us the A-ok! 
We'll let you know how it goes this time around.  
~Kyle's Daddy.

Upcoming Therapy

After becoming ever-increasingly frustrated by the lack of resources for autistic kids in the state of WA, I have decided to take this bull called "autism" by the horns. I will not sit by and let my son become a social vegetable, stimming and spinning wheels to a mindless rhythm in addition to his many other redundant behaviors. I will not sit back and let Kyle grow up in a world, knowing only the language of babble and echolalia. I won't. I refuse. As much as I love his sense of humor, the way he laughs at the silliest things, I won't let them rob him of true joy and potential. If this society does not want to help my child, I will help him myself. I can't wait on standby until resources come. I don't have the time to stir for them. I don't have time to battle insurance companies. I don't have time to work three jobs to pay for the best therapist money can buy. Every second, minute, hour is time lost. I will fight until I don't have any fight left.  I will become the therapist. I will treat my son. That is my decision. That is my direction, and this is OUR future. This is autism. God willing, my son will speak. He will write. He will laugh when everybody else laughs. He will cry when everybody else cries. He will have friends and, yes, he will walk down next to his brother and receive his diploma.     
I have more books to read than I read in four years of college. I have recently taught myself how to speed read so I am not wasting precious time. I'm considering two options and here they are: 
1) ABA Therapy. I know I said I didn't like it in the past, but I'm reconsidering now. Why? It's time tested and reliable. That is what I need. Reliability. It's a little more structured than I would like, and more than you would know, but it's still worth considering. I'm currently reading "Let Me Hear Your Voice" by Catherine Maurice. It's a mother's account of ABA and autism for her daughter.
2) Pivotal Response Treatment. This is a spin off of ABA therapy, and uses natural environments to teach children ABA type principals, instead of the structured and regimented style of ABA itself. Children are the implementers of their interests, instead of therapists defining what they get to interact with. The rewards are internal ( i.e. getting to continue play), rather than external like ABA (i.e. cookie, cracker). 
So far, those are the ONLY two I'm considering. I've read tons of materials on other therapies and am researching these for now. I'll let you know what I decide to do. Then I'll go into more detail about it.  

Sunday, August 5, 2007

2007 Southeastern Washington Autism Conference

Hi Everyone! It's been a while since I've written anything on this blog....probably because we've been so busy. I'll try to keep you more up to date, especially since there will be more happening with Kyle in the near future...
Last week, my mom, Jana, and I attended the 2007 Southeastern Washington Autism Conference. The boys were cared for at Vista Elementary for 8 hours+, for two days and they did excellent! Isaac thought he was going to school. He loves the idea of school and can't wait until he gets to go. He was so proud to carry his little backpack into Vista.. 
There were many fabulous speakers at the conference; we were lucky to have them all here. The first was Dr. Dawson, the female director of the Autism Center at University of Washington. She spoke on recent research in Autism, as well as promising therapies such as Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT) and the Denver Model. The most engaging and insightful speaker of them all was Elizabeth Strickland, a nutritionist with over 30 years experience specialized in autistic feeding behaviors and nutrition. We basically left that presentation understanding why Kyle doesn't eat more than a few foods and what we can do to get his nutrition needs up to par.
There were many breakout sessions, and the three of us parted ways to cover them all for both days. The first day, Jana attended the nutritionist. I attended the Applied Behavior Analysis session presented by Sarah Haws, a consultant and behavior analyst. She did a good job convincing me that ABA isn't that bad after all. I like her approach: she uses positive reinforcement most of the time....and does a dang good job with it. I actually paid to attend one of her presentations on Saturday on how to teach children social play. I was very interested in this, as Kyle is always around other kids at church and home group. 
I also attended Politics and Advocacy the first day. I learned about how to get involved politically for my child. I am interested in advocacy because I believe the state of WA should cover therapy for the recommended 35-40 hours per week just like Wisconsin, Hawaii, and a couple states already do. Interest groups are advocating to push insurance companies to cover the therapy and I think that's the toughest approach. I believe, as rates went from 1:10,000 in 1987 to 1:150 in 2006, we have a huge problem on our hands and we have to take care of it as a society. The taxpayers, you and I, should take the burden because if we don't, it will cost more money in the long run (ie. school system care, welfare for adult autistics, etc.).        
Mom attended a session on HANDLE therapy. At first, she went because she thought it looked ridiculous and wanted to get a few laughs. HANDLE is a holistic approach to the treatment of austism. Some of the methods sounded absurd, but it turns out mom was quite impressed and so was just about everyone walking out of there. The session was taught by a 50 yr old autistic woman, who is mostly neuro-typical now. She sounded pretty good...I'm sorry I missed her lecture, but I'm reading her book....
That was about it for the conference....Mom and I both attended a couple of non-mentionable sessions, which were pretty much a dissapointment, but other than that, the two days was awesome!   
I'll have some more for you soon.........

~Kyle's Daddy.