Seasonal Allergies and Our Non-Verbal Children

Juicy-FruitFor years, I tracked my son’s behaviors based upon data I got from our ABA therapists.  It was my third spring of making a spreadsheet of his behaviors when I had lightbulb moment and I realized he tanked behaviorally every year between March and May.  He self-injured, hit his head repeatedly, bit himself, and generally was miserable. It broke my heart.  He didn’t have the words to tell us what was going on, and it was horrible to watch all our gains go right down the sink.  Our ABA therapists encouraged us to simply redirect the self-injurious behaviors which did not work at all.

SinusI have seasonal allergies myself.  There are times every year during March and April that I literally want to rip my face off with my fingernails because my sinus cavities hurt so badly.  I’ve been on prescription strength antihistamines year-round since I was in middle school.  I am perfectly capable of articulating how I feel and why I am miserable.

So I hypothesized that my son was having the same intense seasonal allergy pain that I did and was unable to articulate that he was in pain.  Under the guidance of our doctor, I did a trial of dye-free Benadryl and looked at how his behaviors changed.  They got better.  After the Benadryl trial, we moved to quercetin for long-term usage.  It helped our annual spring regression significantly.

death starI am starting to see friends on Facebook talking about how their kids are tanking.  When our non-verbal children begin having self injurious behavioral patterns, it is often because they are in physical pain.  Given the timing of spring pollens, mold flares, and the like I want to respectfully suggest that, if your child has a seasonal crash, you look at treating them for seasonal allergies.  There are mulitple ways to go about doing that, but a trial of something like dye-free Benadryl could be a good place to start.

I’ve got some new coping mechanisms for my family which include NAET, cranial adjustments, accupuncture, and essential oils.  This spring, I’ve been a little healthier, but my son is not showing any signs of allergy regression at all, so I’m hoping we’ve gotten his immune system functional again.

~ JuicyFruit


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5 Responses to Seasonal Allergies and Our Non-Verbal Children

  1. mathma says:

    It is worth noting that histamine intolerance is a big factor in seasonal allergies. If you lower histamine intake by food, your seasonal allergies may be less severe.

  2. Erin says:

    We are suffering horribly as well this year. I have a nonverbal child and I have air purifiers and lavender essential oils, Allium Cepa homeopathic remedy, and I feel like he and I are going insane. I hate to go back to something like Benedryl even if it is dye free, I have never heard of Quercetin but will be googling it immediately! Texas is just horrific in the Dallas area we have a layer of yellow covering everything, it is terrible and I just itch and itch. I have heard of NAET and need to find a person locally because I know people have tremendous success. Any other advice u can give, or others can give would be great.

  3. WOW… you may have just explained my son’s behaviors when he was 5-y years old (he is 10 now)! I really wish I had this information back then. I did give me allergy medications off and on but never considered that I just give it to him consistently during the summer…I never even thought to connect it with his behaviors. Thanks so much. I will forward this information to other autism parents!

  4. Tracy says:

    Fantastic article! Thank you so much for sharing your insight and experience with your son’s condition. My daughter is 16 months and does not speak yet, and she recently began hitting her head spontaneously. We’ve battled with early Autism behavioral symptoms since 8 months old so I assumed it was a regression in spite of the profound improvements we have seen since implementing a number of bio-medical interventions. It was her functional MD (who works with lots of ASD kids) that immediately suggested my daughter may have a headache. The prospect had never even occurred to me, but makes absolute sense now because the timing correlates perfectly with a spike in seasonal allergies. Her father has suffered with severe environment allergies for most of his life (Hello, RED FLAG!), and his symptoms began plaguing him right around the time she began hitting her head. It will take some experimentation to determine if that’s actually the cause, but my mommy intuition says that’s what we’re dealing with at this point.

    Thanks again for sharing your experience and I hope it helps many other parents and children sort out their behavioral anomalies.

  5. Jim West says:

    You are coming from a long history of pharma belief. That may get more complicated in time.

    Other people have told me they always struggle towards simplification, working from an opposite angle (180 degrees). They found environmental awareness and adjustments, with a diet towards organic greens, resolved problems.

    I would add thorough environmental reviews of air, water, food, and radiation. Keep faith in the ability of conscious humans (you and your child) to adapt behaviorally. Learning theory is real, the instinctive ability and desire of life to change for the better. Just don’t obstruct that.

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