Flashback 7 years ago: Two moms were waiting in line to pick up their children from their early childhood classrooms. Both of them feeling totally alone and hopeless. Like no one else would ever understand the impact the diagnosis of their child’s autism had on them and their families. An amazing thing happened…they started talking and realized they had something in common….a drive to not accept their child’s autism as a life sentence and do whatever it takes to help them heal. Over the years, four other warrior moms have united in our dedication to our children. These are our stories:
I am wife to Mikey and mom to twin boys, Kale and Jaden. I am a Developmental Therapist in Illinois Early Intervention and an autism education advocate. My kids are 10 years old and the loves of my life. Mikey is amazingly supportive in everything I do for our kids. My boys have a history of illness, inflammation, asthma, allergies, developmental delay, apraxia, sensory processing disorder and autism. Jaden, our NT son, likes baseball, basketball and Minecraft and will be entering 5th grade this August. Kale is our autism baby. He has made more progress in the past year than he ever has before. He is considered beyond the autism “window” in age but I am here to tell you that we are blowing that window up! We will not give up on our son because of his age. We will proceed forward with strength and determination that is fueled by our loving family and friends. We are focused and we are ready to kick autism to the curb!
I don’t appreciate or accept autism! It’s an evil force that has bankrupted my family emotionally and financially. Tom is my amazing husband that continues to be there through the ups and downs, even when I’m on the verge of bat shit crazy! Our children that inspire us every day: Braden, (11) handsome and brilliant that excels at everything he does. Yep, he’s that typical kid of a sibling with autism that feels like he has to be perfect at everything he does. We’ll start the therapy fund right after we’ve given autism the heave ho! He is a warrior for Lily and is continually educating everyone about autism. Keegan (4 months) is our gorgeous surprise baby. Everything we’ve gone through has made us realize how important it is to trust our instincts! And there’s the reason why we fight, Lily (9). She has a smile that lights up our lives and an intelligence that we haven’t even begun to touch upon. We have done many biomedical treatments since she was 4 and saw slight improvements. THE most effective treatment so far has been the SCD. She went from a child that was in constant pain to being pain free more often and engaged in the world around her. A long journey still lies ahead which includes CEASE homeopathy. We won’t stop until we have given her the best possible life that was taken from her by a medical system that has failed us all.
I am a stay at home Mom to my 4 year old daughter, Leah. My husband, Nick, is my best friend and we have been through a lot in the 11 years we have been together but since autism came a knocking, our relationship has gotten stronger than ever in our fight to recover our beautiful daughter. We struggled with infertility prior to conceiving our incredible girl. All I ever wanted to be was a wife and a Mom so this struggle to conceive was heartbreaking but was nothing compared to the devastation that the autism diagnosis brought us. However, since starting our journey, I have learned not only that my dreams for Leah are not to be forgotten but also that there may be a bigger and better purpose for me in this life and THAT gives me unyielding strength! On our path to recovery, we have seen the biggest improvement with Leah through homeopathy. She was nonverbal prior to CEASE and now, a year later, her verbal ability blows us away. We still have a ways to go but I am confident that one way or another, we WILL pull our daughter out of the grips of autism!
I am wife to Jerelle and mommy to Olivia, 3 ½ and Jordan, 2—both of whom have an ASD diagnosis. Never in a million years did I think I’d have a child with autism, let alone two. It was always something that happened to someone else’s kid, not mine. Olivia is our little diva. Definitely knows what she wants, and she wants it now! But she is also so lovable, funny and amazingly creative. She loves music, dancing and is obsessed with The Fresh Beat Band. She is mostly non-verbal, yet recently made my entire year by looking me in the eye and saying “hi mama,” totally unprompted!!! She just finished her first year of Early Childhood preschool in a dedicated autism classroom and has made huge gains in socialization, joint attention and eye contact. Then there’s my little boy. Jordan is my little professor, always inspecting things and trying to figure it all out. He loves puzzles, the alphabet and right now is really into basketball. He is so funny trying to dribble and dunk on his Little Tikes hoop. He is my little scripter. He repeats almost everything, but has very few spontaneous words. That is my ultimate goal, speech! I feel like I can deal with almost anything else autism will throw at us if only we could get that communication piece in place! We are currently starting CEASE for both kids.
I met my husband, Eric, when I was in high school. We are one of those couples who have been through it all and managed to stay together through thick and thin. I cannot imagine my life without him. He has been my rock and voice of reason. We are lucky to have three amazing kids. Riviera, 18, is going to a sophomore at the University of Illinois majoring in Psychology. Riv has always excelled in academics and sports. She is the type of kid that once you meet her you will always remember her. She leaves you with a lasting positive impression. Zoё, 10, is our “senorita sassy pants” who adds sparkle to our family. Zoё was a healthy child until she had bouts of pneumonia which required x-rays and antibiotics. When she was six years old she had the pneumonia vaccine and could not walk for four days. She still struggles with seasonal allergies. She experiences greatest joy when she is on stage with her competitive dance team. Zoë’s dream is to own her own dance studio and become a therapist who helps children with autism. Gavin, 4, is our youngest. We struggled with infertility issues and had to seek the assistance of a specialist to get pregnant with him. At the age of 2 ½ he was diagnosed with Aspergers. We have tried several therapies with success with him. He just started baseball with his typical peers. Zoё and Gavin are both seeing a homeopath.
I am lucky enough to be married 15 years (and counting) to Joe. Our 8 year old Brody hit all the milestones until 2. I had that Mommy Gut feeling that something was off and it was. We started EI therapy with a slew of therapists, started the GF/CF diet, chiropractors, massage therapies and countless miles in the car to other therapies, we now can say that with additional diet restrictions and finding him the most WONDERFUL outside placement school and gearing towards homeopathy he is now considered RECOVERED. Not that he doesn’t have his quirks, but we GOT HIM BACK…FUA!!!! Kaden is our 5 year old. Our little spitfire on wheels. He is undiagnosed with autism but at 2, my Mommy Gut was telling me something was off AGAIN and it was. He was diagnosed at 3 with ADD, ADHD and ODD. ODD is evil, mean and ugly. Defiance at its worst! We started GF/CF diet with him but didn’t see as much of a change. This is a whole new ball game for us and we are up to bat! We will continue Kaden on the diet along with additional diet restrictions. Homeopathy and behavioral therapy is where Kaden’s journey begins but will not end. We will look at every alternative treatment to help Kaden and one day we too will be able to say that we got him back as well (U ODD, ADD, and ADHD)!!!!
We are the Warrior Mom Tribe! We each feel fortunate to have found a group of remarkable women to share this journey, and we have become family. We talk daily on the phone, text and online. We are a lifeline to each other on the days when autism seems insurmountable. We cheer for each child through their journey as if they were our own. We are rocks for each other, giving strength, encouragement, knowledge, a shoulder to cry on, willing ears to vent to, brains to bounce treatment ideas off of and a kick in the ass when needed!! We are kicking autism’s butt one day at a time and we are determined that with one another, we will reach optimal health for our kids. We cannot wait to celebrate the recovery and successes of all of our children both typical and on the spectrum.
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