I always think about the parents and families that are without guidance on their journey. In a blink of an eye your life changes and your child is diagnosed, this overwhelms every family and most all have little guidance. The maze of the Internet becomes the constant as you search online for hope. Some parents get the care they need and others spend 10 years following dead ends. It is my mission to see parents get ALL their options for treatment. I cannot count the number of parents that have cried in frustration and in joy. Some are frustrated because nobody told them about biomedical interventions, nutrition or supplementation and others cry in joy because they found the right team and are so relieved to be getting their child back. Parents should not have to without guidance or options. I want to answer a few questions I am asked frequently.
Who can help me?
This becomes a philosophical decision for some. You must believe in the treatment approach you take because it will take work and sacrifice, from the appointments to the treatment plan. To be successful you must comply with whatever you choose to do for the maximum benefit. What do you believe will help your child? What have other parents tried with success? Are you ready, able and willing to commit to care?
Can I do more than one thing at a time?
Yes, if your doctor/clinician is taking care of the underlying issues then the adjunct therapy (OT, ST, PT) can be that much more beneficial, they can be synergistic. Most parents report goals are being reached faster and improvements seem greater.
How do I know if someone is qualified?
Everyday we have to make decisions but we don’t make them without all the facts, especially when it comes to our medical care. As a parent you must interview any person you are considering as a part of your team. Your child will have better results if you get the proper team in place.
What do I ask them?
First, you must right down the goals you have for your child and make sure the provider has direct experience achieving the results you are looking to better. You must understand that nobody can tell the future but certainly they can tell you their experiences as they relate to your child and you must make the decision on who you feel most can help you get to your goals.
Does the type of testing matter?
Each doctor has a toolbox of testing they do and all are not equal, neither is the interpretation of the results. I will touch on this more next month but in the mean time find someone that treats and sees children with special needs and make sure they have the knowledge in functional medicine or integrative care (treating the core issues) to treat your child.
I have tried some biomedical recommendations I found online and saw no changes, why?
Well, no child is the same and I think we can all agree on this fact. When you get into biomedical care it is truly individualized as each child is an individual and has different challenges. The biggest problem is that the proper testing has never been done so they are shooting in the dark and this keeps a child from reaching their potential. Parents will order things from online and sometimes it’s not the best product for what they need. Some of the supplements can only be ordered by a physician, this makes a difference in efficacy of the product. If you are going to spend the money on getting supplements and give them then isn’t it best to give them things that you know will make a difference?
Is it safe for me to do supplements with my child on my own?
In general it is not about safety as most people give things that are low dose and low efficacy however, it is possible to do more damage then good when you don’t know what underlying medical issues may be there. We can all agree that supplements add up financially and when you don’t know exactly what to do it gets expensive, frustrating and can give you a false sense that these interventions don’t work. The largest risk is your child’s possible recovery; time passes by so fast and gets wasted. It is best to get help from a physician; this will save money and time in the long run not to mention get you on the road to healing.
Is there any age when treatment doesn’t work any longer?
No, this is often a misnomer out there. It is easier with small children when you think about mixing supplements or changing a diet, they don’t fuss too much. As kids get older there are just different obstacles to overcome.
How long does it take to get results?
The results vary by severity of symptoms, underlying medical issues and compliance of care. I cannot stress enough to parents that consistency is the key to getting your child back on track. There are parents out there that jump from person to person and spend precious time they never get back. You need to find a doctor and stick it out to get results. Most all my parents would tell you that consistency is KEY. Some parent’s see dramatic results in weeks and others make small leaps over months. This marathon we run together has to be done safely and effectively to get the results you as parents hope for your child.
I hear about “recovery” for autism, is this possible?
ABSOLUTELY, I can say that not only from my own experience but the medical data that backs up these interventions. I always say that recovery depends on the child and our goals for them. Each child is different and therefore recovery looks different. Take time right now to write down 5 goals you have for your child and get to work on seeing those come to fruition.
As always I wish you the best on your journey, leave today behind and get help tomorrow!