A Mothers Tale : Life beyond Autism
Autism is known as a complex developmental disability. Experts believe that Autism presents itself during the first three years of a persons life. The condition is the result of a neurological disorder that has an effect on normal brain function, affecting development of the persons communication and social interaction skills.People with autism have issues with non-verbal communication, a wide range of social interactions, and activities that include an element of play and/or banter
Recovery is a powerful word. The word itself evokes ideas of struggling against powerful forces such as addiction. Past two and a half years have been full of relapses and recovery for me and my family. We found our self in the midst of dilemma without a clear way out. Today, I look back at that period with gratitude in my heart and yet continue to wonder that recovery is possible, however long it might take. When the doctors said my son is affected with Autism, I made up my mind that I have to prove them wrong.
Let me share with you some information on how Ayurveda has given me a sigh of relief in the treatment of ASD.
My son was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder when he was 2 ½ years old. I was told by doctors that there is very slow recovery for it and we just need to be deeply involved in his development. I didnt know exactly what the word meant, but I knew it was not going to be easy.
I felt that my two and a half year old baby was lost and helpless as, there had been no forewarning as to how autism was set to change all our lives. First symptom I noticed was that my son stopped keeping eye contact with me, his obsession with round objects controlled his mind, and he started symbolizing every round moving thing with the revolving fan overhead. Then he began calling everybody momma. A weird emptiness filled his eyes and tantrums dominated his behavior. At times he beat his head against the floor, walked on his toes, made odd gurgling sounds and would spend hours repeating words and actions such as filling small bits of paper in the cup and then emptying it. In a way, temporarily he was engrossed and trapped in his own world. Pain drowned my logic, rejection concealed fear and anger propelled me into action. I spent days in libraries and searching and trying to understand what the hell autism meant?
As I dug out details I learned, autism is not a mental illness, It is a development disability thought to be caused by an anomaly in the brain. Autism is the end result of systematic toxins such as Mercury in the body causing this diseases which result in the gross imbalance of mental functions such as speech, concentration, memory, learning and neurological response.
The human brain contains over 100 billion nerve cells called neurons and each neuron has hundreds or thousands of connections that carry messages to other nerve cells in the brain and body. The connections and neurotransmitters help the neurons that enable us to see, feel, move, remember and work. For unknown reasons some of the cells and connections in the brain do not develop properly, affecting the ability to communicate, concentrate, remember and work.
My intrinsic need to find my son dictated a mission to fight the invisible hollowness that took him away from me. I hungrily researched any treatment that might help him. Soon I became fluent in the language of autism – speech therapy, behavior therapy, occupational therapy…………so on!!!
My nervousness seemed to fade as I began to trek the highest mountain in the world – along with other autism parents and the only thing we carried was hope. I went with the IQ, DQ level testing on my son, I got myself registered with the mental rehabilitation institute and charted my course on different therapies (with a thought that instead of hiring different therapists for my son, I would become his teacher), followed by Ayurvedic treatment that included detoxifying the body that included nutritional supplementation, cleansing the body tissues with the help of medicines and therapies (commonly known as Chelation therapy – removal of heavy metals), for enhancing the mental abilities like c omp r e h e n s i o n , memory etc. and RDI (Relationship Development Invention).
Crossing many dead-end tunnels and many endless dark days and hopeless nights, I concentrated on capturing a glimpse of the first light flickering in his eyes and I knew that that would be enough to scrape together whatever means possible, to carry on. I found courage in watching other autism mothers strength when I saw their successes. I joined dance classes with my son, I made him do some yoga, he chanted mantras with me, we played football together and today he tells me stories of a thirsty crow and the lion and the mouse.
As weeks grew into months and behavioral and Ayurvedic medicines continued, I noticed the flicker in his eyes beginning to burn a little longer. One day I told him that you are my star and he replied, “mumma I love you.” I laughed, and it was then that I knew we had at last come to inhabit the same world. After two and a half exhaustive years, his clinical phyciatrist told me “he no longer meets the criteria for an autism diagnosis, I felt joy that was never known to me before. This year he has successfully graduated his nursery class and is getting promoted to kindergarten.
Today my son and I appear to have successfully negotiated our way out of a nightmare, a living hell and have escaped the merciless grip of autism. He is a typical 5 year old boy who loves playing football, loves dancing on Bollywood tunes, loves coloring.
The word autism, which came into our lives as an uninvited guest has eventually brought its own gifts. Ive felt blessed by the amazing good fortune of reclaiming my child.
This is my own observation that Ayurveda treatment if done systematically gives promising results in kids diagnosed with ASD. But it should be emphasized that the level of improvements is different from child to child. The child gets relieved of a lot of physical problems and tantrums.
Today, Im not worried about the future of my son, but I do worry about the future of other kids affected with autism, if we do not help them. I would never leave the club in which I was once initiated and would like to help others who want to climb over seemingly insurmountable hurdles, with hope and faith.
Chelation Therapy: Chelation therapy is a form of alternative medicine that strives to remove heavy metals from the body that purportedly leads to the cause for serious physical and mental illness. Mercury, Iron and other metals are often found in the Autistic body and can have negative effects on the brain making autism symptoms even worse. Chelation Therapy should be used only under the direction of a trained health care practitioner.
Ayurveda: The main advantage of Ayurvedic medicine is that it has got a magazine of safe therapeutic preparations of various forms which are developed by continuous trials and rectifications over thousands of years. There are many preparations like decoctions, herbal powders, self-fermented beverages called aristas, different sorts of pills, preparations of medicated ghee(clarified butter) and vegetable fats etc. In recent times, many of the herbs used in Ayurveda are proven to have excellent detoxifying effect as well as free radical- scavenging potential.
The therapeutic preparations like herbal decoctions are combinations of many herbs. These combinations are originally developed on the basis of Ayurvedic principles. In Ayurveda, the compounds as well as single herbs are used for different purposes of health care like pacifying vitiated functional units called dosas, eliminating excessive toxic accumulations, providing targeted nutrients to tissues, tuning the mind-body coordination, sharpening the efficacy of sense-organs, and so on. These prescriptions are based on personalized evaluation of different aspects like body constitution, dosik (means related to dosa) status, power of digestion and assimilation, status of bowel evacuation, physical strength, mental constitution, and etc which is done by experienced physicians.
The environmental writer Brita Bellis recent book *The Autism Puzzle*, takes a look at the chemicals urban consumers eat, drink and breathe.
Statistics released earlier this spring by the Centers for Disease Control revealed that one in 88 U.S. born toddlers has an autism spectral disorder—from the less severe Aspergers Syndrome to the so-called classical form of the ailment. Worse, its not just a North American phenomenon; Belli also reports a 57 percent spike in Asia and Europe.
The question is why. Perhaps, some posit, medical professionals have simply become better diagnosticians and people previously labeled eccentric or developmentally disabled were in fact, autistic. Or, perhaps theres a genetic culprit since ASD typically runs in families. Belli gives credence to both theories, but ultimately concludes that there is more to the puzzle. “If the rise in autism numbers were only due to improved diagnosis and awareness of autism among the medical community—or if the roots of the epidemic were primarily genetic— professionals would have seen an increase in adult or adolescent patients who had not been diagnosed or who had been misdiagnosed in the past,” she writes. But they havent. This realization piqued Bellis curiosity and her investigation into the relationship between environmental poisons and human health is riveting. “The idea that a toxin can cause autism is neither controversial nor speculative,she begins.In fact,thalidomide,a medication used in 1960s to control morning sickness in pregnant women,was tied to autism almost 20 years ago.Likewise valproic acid,used to treat bipolar disorder,misoprostol,ulcer drug,and chlorpyrifos,an insecticide.And thats just the tip of chemical iceberg.many other chemicals distributed far and wide across the natural world by power plants smokestacks,leaking waste sites,improper storage facilities and outdated manufacturing processes have been proven to cause injury to developing brains,Belli continues.For more specifically mercury lead and polyclorinated biphynels-also known as PCBs-along with the chemicals used to make insulation,flame retardants,electronic equipments,and plastic post known health risks to fetal life and new borns.
Belli cites recent studies Environmental Working Group that discovered an average of 200 pollutants in the umbilical cord blood of infacts among them:pest icides,per f lour inated compounds,antibiotics and polybrominated diphenyl ethers.Researchers Carol Reinisch tested the impact of the substance on clamp embryos-a precursor to human trials and founded that chemical cocktails that is number of contaminants and exposures acting in concerts -was far more destructive to the body than each of the chemicals acting alone.
Prayaas The Prayaas Building is located in Sector 38-B, on Dakshin Marg and is spread over 3 acres of land, Ph: No. 0172-4012011-13, Fax: 0172-4012030. The school has taken the specialized staff to handle these special children. Each group of 10 children would be taken care of by one teacher and one helper. Children will be grouped according to dominant disability like Autism, Cerebral, Palsy, Hearing Impairment and specific learning disability like Dyslexia.