I do not read the news often.
It's hard for me to watch television news, or even read articles online because it's so negative. It's self protective, really. I dance on the edge of depression when life threatens to overwhelm me, and that threat looms fairly often.
Occasionally though I try to search for information to help my son, and I stumbled across a horrifying article. The article in question was from Mother Jones magazine, describing an institute called the Rotenberg Center.
I'm not going to post a link. You will be able to find it if you seek it out.
The saddest part of the whole thing is that this center takes in severely autistic and behaviorally disturbed people. Some are children. I understand that some of these children are self-injurious in ways that I can't even imagine.
Their treatment at this center is torturous.
The parents who send their children to this place are loud, organized, and have stood in the way of any law stepping in to stop what is happening there. They feel there is no other option.
But there are options. There are.
There is a large, biomedical community that is trying to help children (and adults) with problems like these. There are many anecdotal reports of several supplements that can help with behavior issues -- like DMG, which is a food, and B6 and magnesium.
A good place to get an overview about some of these treatments is here:
Autism Research Institute
This is a good place to start. Remember that biomedical interventions can help ANYONE with behavior issues, not just autistic children, because many children have food allergies which present as behavioral problems.
The information here can be confusing and overwhelming. But there is more help out there, a lot more help. There are Yahoo! groups dedicated to these parents with thousands and thousands of members.
This group is for those just starting on the biomedical journey, who have cut out gluten and casein. It's the first step for many people who want to find out if gluten and casein addiction has a hand in their children's problems. Parents on this list have autistic kids, ADD kids, ADHD kids, and others.
Dana is a frequent contributor on the GFCFKids list. She knows a lot about supplementation and healing the digestive system with enzymes. She recovered her autistic son this way.
This group is for parents who are implementing the specific carbohydrate diet. The SCD has been shown to heal ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, but it has also shown remarkable benefits to autistic children and other children with behavioral problems. This is a good diet to consider when you've eliminated gluten and casein, but you haven't seen good results. This diet is also recommended for people with celiac disease who did not get better after gluten was removed. It aims to heal the digestive system.
The Institute for Functional Medicine
My new doctor is listed on this web site. Doctors who believe in functional medicine treat you as a whole person, instead of like a walking disease. They look for imbalances throughout your entire body and they try to improve your overall health and state of mind.
If you cannot find a doctor to help you who is familiar with functional medicine, you will have better luck with someone who is a D.O., an osteopath. Doctors with D.O. after their name are trained to look at the body as a whole system as well.
I had been to many doctors before I found my new doctor. My previous doctors said things like, "You're fine...you're healthy...you just have rheumatoid arthritis." I have researched for years to find answers. My new doctor was the first doctor to say, "You're not fine." She talked about leaky gut syndrome, about how toxic our bodies can be in our current environment. She talked about inflammation and stress. She wants to help me get better because I am not well.
I knew that. But I needed someone to believe in me, and she did. She does.
I think a lot of parents don't know where to turn, and when they are exhausted, they consider options that they never would have considered before.
You know your child best. You know yourself best. Never give up. Never stop fighting.