Category Archives: autism

Autism and It’s Impact On One Family- An Interview with Sue

Autism and It’s Impact on  Family

When my oldest son was 18 months old he had a very violent reaction to his MMR vaccination. This is when I first heard the word autism.  I had no idea what autism was but was concerned enough to listen to the person who told me about it. She believed there was a link between bad vaccination reactions and autism.  Seventeen years later and the jury is still out on that one.  Thank God my son was lucky and he is neuro-typical today but from what happened to him I began to be very interested in autism and its cause and effect and in turn started a career in nutrition. I had the pleasure of working with many families affected by autism helping them navigate the gluten free/dairy free (GF/DF) diet. Parents of autistic kids are truly amazing people and I generally stand in awe of them at what they go through day to day. -Tammie

Sue and Her Family

Sue and Her Family

One amazing mom and her journey is the subject of this blog post- An Interview with Sue Taylor 

The Annual walk for autism events coming to up and I wanted to take a closer look at what autism means to one family dealing with it every day.  Meet Sue Taylor and her boys Ryland and Michael both boys have autism and Sue is very involved with her local autism Ontario chapter.

AS (Allergic Solution):  Sue how has autism affected you?

Sue: Autism has affected me in more ways than I can ever imagine. I have learned that you always have to expect the unexpected. You live like you are walking on eggshells a lot of time as you do not really know what might cause the next meltdown. You have to be a very patient person but also very creative in how you deal with situations as the way you respond is so important. You run on very little sleep as sleep is an issue for quite a few autistic children so you learn to function in spite of being dead on your feet.

AS: What does it mean to you to participate in the Autism walk?

Sue:  Planning and participating in the walk is an amazing feeling. Words cannot describe the way that I feel when I have an ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) parent say to me “I cannot thank you enough for doing this as it means so much to my family”. To raise the awareness and to see the children’s and families faces when they are at this day that is honour of them is so fulfilling. If we can inform one more person what ASD is about then we have succeeded.

AS: Are you doing any dietary interventions for your kids?

Sue:  My boys are allergic to eggs, nuts, seafood and dairy so they are avoided. We also limit the wheat intake but right now they are both waiting for biopsies for Celiac so wheat has to be in their systems.

AS: Do you feel those interventions have helped?

Sue:.  Yes we do feel these have made a difference, especially the wheat. We notice with my youngest son almost immediate changes in his behaviour and his inability to cope with issues he normally can deal with fairly easily. The meltdowns are more frequent, he can’t think clearly and is easily set off.

AS: What is the one thing you want others to understand about Autism?

Sue:  One thing I would like others to understand is that Autism is a very broad spectrum. It truly does come in many colours. There are verbal, non-verbal, some are social some are not, some flap their arms, some like to hum. There is such a difference in each and everyone. I have heard a few times “well he doesn’t look like he has Autism” Now I say  “What should it look like?” “Come to my house after school and you will see his Autism.”

AS: Do you ever go through : “why me”?

Sue: I go through the why me more than I am willing to admit. I struggled with infertility, miscarriages and high risk pregnancies for a lot of years. So when I had my boys they had issues right from the beginning. But, when I see them struggle with the smallest tasks like getting socks on cause there is a string or a bump. Or curling up in a ball screaming because someone made a loud unexpected sound,  it is hard to watch. When you see them so angry they hurt themselves you ask yourself “why me”. Why did this happen to me, why did I bring them in to this world when they have to struggle so much with everyday life? Even though you didn’t know it would be like this, you never want to see your child suffer and struggle.

AS: What do you hope for your kids?

Sue:  My hopes for my boys are that they can be accepted into the world for who they are. Autistic children are extremely smart and Autism is on the rise so the world should prepare as I believe we have a lot of Einstein’s out there.

AS: Do you think there will be a day when Autism will be a thing of the past?

Sue: I don’t think there will be a day that Autism will be a thing of the past but I do believe they will find out how to deal with it better. Proper therapies, earlier interventions and dietary changes right from infancy will go a long way to help. For myself,  I still question vaccines as both my boys reacted quite seriously and we also noticed changes in behaviour with each. Hopefully one day we will have a definite answer about that issue.

AS: What is the hardest part of having children with Autism?

Sue: Oh wow, if I have to name the hardest part of having Autistic children it is not having  a magic cure. There are so many days when I see them struggle,  I wish I could just wiggle my nose and it would all be gone. I would have neuro-typical children that would play at the beach, go to birthday parties, sleep on their own all night long, have friends, etc.  I guess to sum it up I would give them the opportunity to do what the average child does. It is a day to day challenge that we face that affects all of us in the family in so many ways. But, they are my boys, I love them to death and will except them for who they are and that will always be enough for me.

 

Having a Child with Autism and the Son-Rise Program

This month we are donating 15% of all on-line sales to Jordyn’s  goal of getting a service dog.  We asked Jordyn’s mom, Kelli to a write a post for us describing the Son-Rise Program and how it has helped Jordyn.

Having a Child with Autism by Kelli

Having a child diagnosed with autism I felt as if I’d been dropped at the bottom of very large mountain with no equipment to climb, but knew that was the only way to go, there was no looking back.  When first dropped at the base of the mountain, I went through all the standard stages – “why me” stage, then the “what did I do wrong that landed us here” stage, then the “what now” stage, all whilst not moving up the mountain.  Then there was a moment where I got the opportunity that this climb could be – not just for Jordyn, but for all of us – he was a gift given to teach us all sorts of lessons. 

It was soon after that moment that the Son-Rise Program came into our lives.  In reading the website I knew it was for us.  Grounded in loving and accepting Jordyn (and his autism) for all he is, while wanting more for us we began the climb up the mountain.

When we started our Son-Rise Program Jordyn was non-verbal, in his own world perseverating every waking hour on one activity or another, and not exhibiting his awareness of our presence except to guide our hand to food or drink.  Through loving play and joining Jordyn in his world he has come into ours – he now communicates with 3-4 word requests, LOVES being with people and including them in his games, and trying out their games.  We (including everyone we’ve trained to work with him) have enjoyed every moment and have had our lives altered over and over inside of playing with and loving him deeply.  We would not parent any other way.   We model exactly how we want him to interact with others – with loving respect, adventure, persistence, peacefulness, and passion – and he has blossomed!

All the things we have done have been complimentary to the Son-Rise Program, and/or in line with underlying principles of the program.  We continue to work and play with Jordyn to allow him to grow into the best version of himself.

Watch Jordyn’s journey Screen Shot 2013-04-18 at 9.10.22 AM

Thank you Allergic Solution for being part of this Journey and your ongoing support.

Kelli

 

Support World Autism Day by Helping Jordyn Get an Autism Service Dog

I had the pleasure of meeting Kelli and Michael Pallett during a Parent’s Listen- Autism Education Community event

Jordyn was born on June 1, 2003.  Kelli and Mike realized at about 18 months that Jordyn’s speech was not developing normally, and saw examples of him withdrawing, avoiding eye contact, and engaging in repetitive behaviors, they turned to the medical community for help.  After Jordyn’s diagnosis Kelli and Mike thought they were doing as well as they could because Jordyn’s autism was recognized early. However, what they were really succeeding at was getting his name on waiting lists!

Kelli and Mike realized that they needed to go outside the established medical community if they were going to really help Jordyn.  Realizing that autism is impacting families in Ontario (and the world) at epidemic rates, they understood that they were not alone in being parents grappling the reality of having a child with Autism.

Kelli and Mike created the Parents Listen Speaker Series as an opportunity for parent’s to share with each other what works, what is available and where they can go for help. Go to their website to see archived talks http://www.pallettcorner.net/

Over the years I have watched Kelli work tirelessly to help Jordyn on his journey and at the same time support other parents in their journey with Autism.  When she told me they were working towards getting Jordyn an Autism dog www.autismdogservices.ca, I knew I wanted to help however I could.  Getting an Autism dog is not like going to the pound to pick out a puppy or visiting a breeder.  These dogs go through intensive training from birth and the cost is approximately $18,000.  Most parents of Autistic kids also deal with the added expense of things like supplements, special diets and special programs. This makes support dogs even more out of financial reach for families with Autistic children.

As a company Allergic Solution is committed to helping our community when we can.  We regularly donate to food banks, bring awareness to food allergies and sponsor events in support of Autism and Celiac disease.  I have a personal connection to Autism and have worked for a number of years helping parents of Autistic children navigate the GFCF (gluten-free, casein-free) diet.  This is why I decided I wanted to dedicate the month of April (Autism Awareness Month) to helping a family affected by Autism.  Kelli, Mike and Jordyn Pallett will be the recipients of our first official Lend a Hand to Autism Warrior Families.  The Pallett Family will receive 15% of all online sales for the month of April 2013 to put towards their goal of getting Jordyn a Autism dog.

Jordyn’s journey on YouTube http://youtu.be/NG1S1kxVbdU