Never Give Up
Previous to visiting Stockton Family Practice, our son had been diagnosed with autism at two years ten months old. Some of the signs were typical autistic traits. Our son had little language, ran back and forth, and used stereotypical motions. He demonstrated preservative play. He had different ways of “stimming”, spinning things, walking (prancing) on his toes, moving his hands by his eyes, “swiping” the sides of his eyes by things. Many times he would seem “spaced out”, and it would be hard to get his attention. In other situations, however, he would demonstrate signs of intense participation with us. He was an extremely loving child; he loved to read books in our lap, play flash cards, sing (albeit not with much language), and interacted well. This two-sided presentation made it difficult to truly determine a problem, but upon visiting a neurologist, we were advised of this devastating news. A bludgeon such as this can easily split into the hearts of any parent, and my husband and I were no different.
Reading everything positive we could find on recovery from autism, we began changing our son’s diet to be gluten and casein free. Small changes resulted from this. Less running back and forth; more focus. We added one DMG to his daily multivitamin. This definitely produced more language. This inspired us to seek further assistance. We were graced with the opportunity to work with Stuart Freedenfeld and his practice.
Dr. Freedenfeld was as generous with information as he was knowledgeable. His steadfast conviction that our son could recover fueled our hope. He began our son on a needed foundation of vitamins, enzymes, and minerals. He decided we should additionally remove soy from his diet. (This proved to be extremely beneficial to his behavior) He ordered tests to determine gut permeability. The results indicated our son had an intestinal bacterial overgrowth that was treated by Nystatin and a no sugar diet. During this time period, we had been continuing private speech therapy and began ABA therapy. Our son attended a special needs preschool in our district. Teachers and therapists began remarking on how well he was attending to this task.
Dr. Freedenfeld introduced us to intravenous B-12 therapy. This produced dramatic changes in our son’s language and speech. He began addressing family members consistently, his eye contact improved greatly, and he started forming five to six word sentences spontaneously. This therapy also temporarily increased his hand flapping, but after about ten months, this completely disappeared.
Chelation therapy was begun in January 2005 to treat our son’s heavy metal overload. This produced more dramatic improvement in behavior and speech. He began initiating conversations and asking “why” questions consistently. Although this therapy was rocking at first (our son was very spacey directly after his treatments) the days afterward produced significant gains. He is still undergoing this and B-12 therapy.
During this time of improvement, my husband and I also intensified private therapies. We upped his speech, ABA and occupational therapies to a higher intensity. We also learned and grew proficient at doing OT and ABA ourselves. We added a swing, tramp and mats to our attic. We did “crawling” everyday for 5 months. We still work on helpful computer programs everyday to strengthen his learning capabilities. We completely stopped television during this time. He was becoming much more confident in his physical coordination, and he was trying more things on his own. This period was extremely motivating and exciting to us because we were seeing our son get better.
As of this writing, our son has lost his eligibility for speech therapy at his school next year. The stimming has minimized itself to drumming (mostly to music). He is a happy and motivated little four-year-old boy. His language has been evaluated to be appropriate for his age, and we are working on socialization. He asks us questions constantly. He wants to know things. My husband and I have such enormous hope and happiness now. We are still working very hard on the “last lap” to bring our son to a neurotypical level. We feel we have been given a great gift in our son. We are so extremely grateful to Dr. Freedenfeld and other “DAN” doctors that have used their extensive knowledge, practice and caring to recover children. Our son’s future is very, very, bright. We could not ask for a greater gift.