The One that Got Away

countMy son entered fourth grade this year. This is the year where students get to pick a musical instrument to play/learn. Though it is optional, most kids do. I consider it a mark of being “normal” to do what the other kids are doing, so I had my son sign up. And he agreed to play the viola, just like his older sister does.

viola1I figured, how hard can it be? If he can play his Nintendo DS or iPod Touch, he should be able to do it. It’s not like you have to read words; it’s musical notes. There is coordination involved . . . If not, oh well. I’ll chock it off to the other mile-long list of things I tried too prematurely. The karate class disaster of two years ago comes to mind, among others. His receptive language, comprehension were just not there at the time.

The first official concert of the year was coming up soon . . . and with some extra effort coaching and practice with his older sister, he was ready.

We went to the concert. He played everything just like everybody else. At the end of every song, he would look at me in the audience for my approval. And I would just give him a nod. As the evening went on, I remarked to my wife, how weird it was to be so “normal,” and she agreed. Flashbacks flew through my mind . . .  first grade:  watching him in a class play . . . making faces, grimacing, noises, the general behaviors that make you want to cringe. How things have changed for the better.

What a normal evening! And then I saw them.

Another family I knew with a child with autism. Their typical daughter was also playing in the concert, while their ASD son was with the parents in the audience. Their son Samuel had been in my son’s kindergarten class. I had met the family then, and I, having faith in the biomedical approach to treating autism, tried persuading them back then. They weren’t very receptive to hearing about biomed. I quickly gave up. I knew I wasn’t going to change their minds. They didn’t want to harm their child further. I could tell that’s what they were thinking.

I wanted to tell them now, “Hey!!!! Look!!! My son is playing in the concert! Don’t you want to know what improved him? How much better off he is today?? Don’t you want to try for your son? WHY WOULDN’T YOU TRY?!!” I wanted to scream.

All I know, is the “normal” night didn’t end up being normal for me. It bothered me greatly.

Individual choices . . . maybe I’m the crazy one. My son has improved. At what cost? The things he’s gone through . . . but then, the things he would have gone through, if I hadn’t . . .  For all I know, he’ll be the one playing the viola when the whole ship comes sinking down.

But what a song that would be.

~ Count

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30 Responses to The One that Got Away

  1. Erin says:

    Thank you for your response, we have never had any antibiotics and just worked with a school speech therapist for a year with an apraxia kit, no improvement. We have used lots of enzymes, probiotics, fish oils etc and continue to because really everyone needs them he just needs them more and at higher quantities. He has had many supplements that we give him all day every to help him. My son has never had many gut issues that we could tell. Our first major obstacle was full body eczema and we figured all that out FINALLY at around 2. My son has never been failure to thrive and is off the growth charts on the big end. I feel like many times it is futile but we continue to do all we can. We have dabbled in homeopathy but once again we were gifted the initial money to do all the visits but the money dries up and so we move on and keep the things that seemed to work. I always hope to revisit things and always put these expensive things in the catalog of my brain or my spreadsheet that is 3 years long just to remind me of what we might could try if given the chance. Would be great to try so many things but often times we have to pick and choose and then relate it to cost. Our state is notorious for lack of help so that makes it even harder. We fight the good fight every day and we are just coming off a 3 day stint of behaviors that were no fun…probably why I get harsh to articles like this but I get it. Even ABA therapy is hard to come by, we have an amazing facility less than 5 miles away, 10k a month out of pocket and they don’t take Medicaid or the insurance my husbands company has. We have been on a waiting list for 3 years for therapy through Easter Seals, have written that off, call yearly to see if we are still on the list. Fighting with the school system now to get him into an ABA type classroom in the Fall and hoping for the best. It is not laziness that keeps us from things to help him but the constant barrage of waiting lists, lack of funds (after all he/we have to eat and live) and have very helpful grandparents who all want the best for him. My wish is that for 1 thing for him to be easy and to click with just amazing easiness but he is still young and there is still time, I won’t stop trying!

    • ProfessorTMR says:

      MY son was off the growth charts as well, which was why his physician wouldn’t believe that he had food sensitivities (which are related to gut permeability). And yet, when I stopped eating certain foods (when still nursing him), he was better. And then when I had him treated with NAET, he was MUCH better. The full-body eczema is an indication of gut problems (so it’s not surprising to me that he needs the gut supports). It is usually a sign of one or more food sensitivities. Have you tried one of the gut-healing diets, GAPS or Specific Carbohydrate maybe? I’m so with you on the “would love to try” stuff and the cost considerations. Have you read our guest blog written by Angelica Lemke on using your intuition to choose therapies and dosing? Might be helpful. A number of us have been trying some of the techniques she mentions and are getting good results with them.

      Please don’t worry about anyone else’s impressions of what you’re doing. It sounds like you’re doing a fantastic job!

  2. Erin says:

    I hope my response doesn’t come off as horrible because I frankly have been on both sides. I have watched children as well as my own but I am not an authority b/c my child doesn’t speak even after 30+ rounds of Andy Cutler Chelation protocol. We are restarting soon because the behavior benefits we saw with the protocol were worth it. Also it is completely inexpensive. It is something to try again.

    My child is completely nonverbal and 4 and communicates via PECS (a GOD send for us). You would be amazed at the parents/therapists who won’t even try PECS even though it will give a child a way to communicate. NO THEY WILL TALK BY GOD and look at me like I gave up. I have done Young Living oils, I have spent money we didn’t have, I have run tests, I have run up credit card debt, I have fought with the schools, I have tried biomedical treatments where I could and could afford. Made an appointment with Dr. Usman but then didn’t have all the money to get to Chicago much less her fee but I did try. MB12 shots, you betcha, the headbanging, drooling, uncontrollable fingers in the mouth (for 3 months)…push through that…how about NO! Nothing….NOTHING has given my child at least 1 word, nary a sound that is meaningful! We have speech therapy, we have OT, we have sensory issues, we have school programs that help, we do home things, his ROOM is a sensory gym. We do diet, we do many supplements that we have seen help, we are trying….but how would anyone know that looking at him or at us?

    All of his therapists will tell you how amazing he is and his ability to receptively understand and his cognitive abilities are on par with peers his age….but he cannot speak or chooses not to. He makes plenty of sounds.

    I wish people understood all the things parents do but also the judgement that exists within our own community. I got off Facebook because of it, I cannot stand it because there is so much critism disguised as support. You have no idea what peoples financial situation is. We are in debt up to our eyeballs but you might look at us and think we hadn’t tried. My child was never vaccinated….not even Hep B in the hospital. I was diligent even then but I hear about recovery every single day and watch my child be dismissed as many things because he cannot speak. I sometimes think it is a blessing, so many people shouldn’t speak and do.

    Just my 2 cents. Hope it doesn’t sound frightfully bitter but it is hard for a parent who has tried and tried again and who will continue to try.

    • ProfessorTMR says:

      Erin, my son wasn’t vaccinated either, but he had quite a few antibiotics early on that did some nasty things to his gut. As a result, he had apraxia and couldn’t speak. Have you looked at this from more of an apraxia perspective? (It may very well be that you have that well in hand, but I thought I’d mention it. The reason I mention it is that the therapists say his receptive language and cognitive abilities are on par with his peers. It was the same for my son.) The things that helped my son were gut and inflammation related: enzymes, probiotics, fish oils, and homeopathy. I agree that there is too much judgment of the people who don’t try, but that’s NOT you. I think you might be surprised at the kind of support you can get for your efforts. In addition, I’ve heard wonderful things from people whose children couldn’t talk at all and learned PECS, which FINALLY gave the child a way to communicate. In addition, a number of those children have gone on to speak in the future. Activating the parts of the brain involved in communication is great, no matter how it is done. I believe our own LuvBug did a blog on it once.

  3. Julie Stewart says:

    I am so appreciative of these blogs. My son, damaged three times (yes, I was a stupid consumer, took awhile!) at 19 mo, again at 3, again at 5 – the final blow. Thanks to sheer divine intervention, we began DAN! at 5 years of age. It made him worse. Having the mindset of desperation, more so than hope of recovery, because at that time, everyone told me it was genetic and he would never have a friend, never play a sport, never attend a typical school. Other than my husband and his relentless prayers (and the lady on the airplane he considers his angel the day of the diagnosis) and my best friend who ended up on the journey with me, I have no idea what kept us going. I do know that where we were was not tolerable, and we could not leave him. Our awesome physician told me after 1 year, it was time to leave DAN and try Yasko. I was angry, but I did. We already were doing homeopathy, cranial sac, floortime, OT, oxygen chamber, and more. Yasko lite, as we called it, was the tipping point for us, but we did much more. Final touches were Crossroads Institute qeeg, and then Brain Balance. He turned 15 last month. He is now fully recovered. Mainstream private school. a-b student, gorgeous diver, baseball player. Is he perfect…what is that? Maybe he is more intuitive and more mature than he should be. He knows things adults don’t want to know. There is corruption and greed that can touch us and steal our babies unless we are THINKERS. Would I go back? Well, not since we have this outcome. It was a hell of a journey. It has taken many things I cannot get back. Some of those things (like community) I could have kept if we had abandoned him. But, now, I am so grateful we made our path. 95% of the parents I have met in this journey are the ones “that got away”. That is why I am so thankful when I read your post. Your determination and your desperation to make it better regardless of the end game is so heartening and so joyous to me that I wanted to tell you. I pray for you all often and know that whatever your end game is, your child will be better because you love him/her enough to never stop trying. God speed…..

  4. Alisabeth s says:

    Can someone here please please tell me what worked best/game changers for your child??? We discovered early on with our son……pulling soy, dairy and gluten……then eggs and peanuts helped him 50% with behaviors. However, he is SOOO highly sensitive to soy and dairy (parts per trillion)….that things from coconut oil to hand soap to organic jelly…..I call the manufacturer and 9/10 it’s produced on SHARED equipment that’s been “tested” for allergens at 0. He still reacts! Our son is 8 now and his behaviors have never been worse, especially when exposed to tiny particles on his hands of dairy or soy. Must wear gloves at birthday parties!!

    Here’s our dilemma. We make 50,000 as a family of 4.

    Landons diet is 1,000 a month by himself because we have discovered………….only ONE company in America sells and markets TRUE soy free CHICKEN and EGG. After months of seeing him react to chicken and egg, we realized after calling IANS….soy free chicken…..that the chickens are FED soymeal!!!!!!!!!! Not many know this. Soy protein is then in their bodies and eggs so kids will react.

    Long story short, we spend a fortune shipping from Minnesota and Wisconsin from Whole frozen chickens and eggs….with 130$ in shipping for 2 bs day air. We get 16 dozen eggs and they keep for 2 months at most because they are covered in coconut oil.

    So we have nothing left for supplements although just afforded Diatomaceous earth and HEMP protein powder from Nutiva….our trusted supplier with which I make him waffles and muffins that are high in fiber, good fat, low carb and allergen free. But it’s SOOo expensive for US on a low income. Hubby and I 37 and been together 18 years and have a 4 year old daughter also on spectrum. It’s terribly AGONIZING to spend my days researching after work (I work for a special needs school for 7$/hr) just for any extra income and so I can be off when my kids are off school as we don’t want others raising our kids…agonizing knowing I cannot save my child/children from the grips because of finances. We are doing all we can do and by hubby works 80 hours a week to help us with every dollar we can hold onto. We never ever get a date night and we have zero family and it’s very isolating and depression g not been able to find a grant to help us afford more supplements and advice.

    I prayed and then found Kerri River from CDautiam online with a lecture series about an hour long.

    With her CD method and bentonite clay…..those are not expensive overall Although very labor intensive.

    We have hope again on a 50,000 super poverty stricken income because all dollars are already spent on our kids diets alone……

    Anyone help me or email me at [email protected]….with ways to either do a fund raiser or applying for assistance to furthering our sons and daughters ability to live a more normal life??

    Currently he is unable to do any kind of team or group activities as he frustrates so easily and is so unfocused. The dha from pure encapsulations……is $36 per 2 weeks at our home but is allergen free pure….. And doesn’t honesty seem to calm him much.

    Praying that Kerri Riveras CD method works and that I will write again in 6 months with a wonderful update. We can’t afford it yet but in several weeks will have a bit of money to spend on our babies. Until then we all must wait so patiently. Through the nighttime wakings and crying spells and tummy aches……

    • Becca says:

      Eggs wise, have you tried (of course if this is available/feasible in your living situation) raising your own chickens? Just a couple of birds will give you enough eggs for a couple of people, and it doesn’t have to be very expensive to get started. It might be worth looking into!

  5. Melanie C. says:

    My daughter was diagnosed with PDD-NOS at the age of 12. When she was younger,
    doctors, nurses, shoe salesmen, other mothers and other children,were very intolerant of my daughter’s behavior. I myself did not know what was going on, but knew I was struggling harder to raise her while most parents didn’t seem to struggle at all. I thought I had bad parenting skills. I read Raising Your Spirited Child, The Difficult Child, Transforming the Difficult Child, etc. I recognized her on the pages of those books, but there was no mention of an autism spectrum. It was only when I quit my job, pulled her out of school to homeschool her in sixth grade, and met another homeschooling mom who mentioned Asperger’s to me (as my daughter was hiding because balloons were popping) that I realized what was going on. Thus began the long road to school meetings, endless questionnaires, doctors appointments, tests, meetings with psychiatrists and doctors who knew less than me because they hadn’t read books on autism/Asperger’s, etc. This was the mid-90’s to the early 2000’s. It was rough. In all that time and to this day I have not worked, except briefly on the 2010 census. I can tell you I should have been working every single day, as it is difficult to make ends meet on my husband’s blue collar salary. My retirement savings have been depleted and used for alternative therapies that I have not been able to continue – because of the money. I know for a fact, that MONEY is the one big issue that prevents people from trying or continuing these therapies. Yes, it is a shame.

  6. LisaJ says:

    I know the feeling. But “biomedical” covers a wide range of treatments (really band-aids) and after blowing tens of thousands on a “big name” DAN (who has a child with ASD, not a very good sign when you think about it…) and redundant “therapies” (how can glorified obedience training fix heavy metal poisoning?) we got down to what rid our child of autism. I began low-dose, frequent chelation using Dr Andrew Cutler’s protocol, and the lights came ON, people! No, the cure to autism/metal poisoning is not in the DAN’s grasp OR in the hands of ANY therapist. It’s up to Mom & Dad and an anti-oxident called Alpha Lipoic Acid from the local CVS!

  7. Chrissy says:

    I too feel the frustration of trying to convince others to TRY, just TRY, biomed. I know several people who are just not convinced, and it is difficult not to scream at them, “Hey, did you just see my son walk up to me and carry on that conversation? It’s because of biomed!!! You should try it!!!” But I agree that it’s vitally important not to judge…. it’s just so hard not to sometimes, especially when you see a child clearly struggling, clearly addicted to gluten, and you know they could do better. I want the improvement, and near recovery, that my son has had for everyone! Maybe it’s just not possible, but that’s what we’re all working toward, right? Thanks for the post!

  8. Lesly says:

    I do bio med with my son while his father (my x) runs interference at every opportunity he gets. Why does he do this? I think he thinks helping Jaden in this way somehow is validating me – or for my benefit – I don’t know. It is a constant 2 steps forward 1 and 9/10 steps back – and a whole lot of banging my head against walls (not literally!) I currently secretly am giving him mb12 shots. the only way i’ll tell his dad is if he improves to the point where his dad asks – whats going on – J seems great – did this….or that….. otherwise, he just won’t know about it.
    I keep him 100% gluten and dairy free while his dad gives him both.
    Am I crazy? Yes. But I simply cannot put in his body what i know will harm him – even though his dad just cancels out the benefit by giving him these things.
    Everyone’s situation is different. I can only give everyone the benefit of the doubt that they are doing the best they can in what can seem like an impossible situation.

    • Thinkingmominthedesert says:

      I bet the dad is seeing the benefit of your GF efforts while in his care, while u are seeing the negative effects of dietary gluten infractions when ur son is in ur care!?! No? Lol If the dad experiences the effects of the gluten (sleeplessness, fog, inattention, hyperactivity,etc) would that help to change his mind?? Just a thought! Wow! That’s gotta be really frustrating! GL:)

      • Lesly says:

        its so frustrating!! his dad doesn’t notice subtleties at all – and is very inclined to notice negativity and disinclined to notice progress. and with the biomed stuff – you have to be patient and also recognize you may some some adverse reactions at first, ie, hperactivity with B-12. its a constant dance trying to give my kid what he needs while placating his dad –
        wouldn’t wish it on anyone.
        i really hoped the mb-12 would be undeniable in its benefit (for the obvious reasons but even more so just to get his dad on board) but so far, it’s not enough for his dad to notice…
        i’m of the belief that if it does no harm and has the potential to help – WHY ON EARTH NOT!?!?!?!? can’t really understand any other view on this.

  9. nhokkanen says:

    Great article, and congrats on your success! Anyone who can read the alto clef deserves kudos.

    Like many of us, over the years I’ve lent or given hundreds of dollars worth of autism books and handouts to other parents. Some went to a friend of a friend, the mother of a nonverbal girl. Unfortunately the mother believed that lack of speech was “God’s will.” But I believe that neurological damage is man’s folly.

    I don’t know whether she followed up with DAN! doctors or supplements like methyl B-12 or therapies. Sadly some people choose the convenience of made-up stories — as cave dwellers did — to explain scientific mysteries, so they won’t shatter their cemented belief systems.

  10. HubsMom says:

    How does everyone who is saying “why don’t people try biomedical interventions?” know these people are not doing so. Not every child responds and some respond faster. We started at almost 4 years old with my son. Another kid started at the same time with the same doctor. Six months later that other kid was nearly completely recovered, from MB12 alone. My son is 11 now. We’ve done diets, probably every supplement out there, IVIG for PANDAS, we are with our 3rd and 4th big name doctors (using them for different things.) My son has improved. We see new little things all time that make his life, and ours, easier and a little more “normal” but my son is no where near recovered and probably never will be. If I don’t discuss our biomedical treatments with you, would you just assume I wasn’t doing them and wrongly judge me too?
    Maybe some people have tried and are broke and can’t follow through. I won’t tell you how in debt we are, mostly from the IVIg which we paid out of pocket for, and if it wasn’t for a sizable inheritance I just got, we were close to having to cut back and discontinue some things with my son.

    And for the record, the most recovered child I know in person, if you met him you’d probably just think he was a quirky kid never did a single biomedical treatment. At age 4, my son and him were so similar, so many of the same issues. This boy is now 12, in a regular class, no aide, no supports, doing grade level work and getting good grades, is in the boy scouts, has friends, and goes to computer camp in the summer. Doesn’t know what a diet is and has never taken anything but a kids chewable vitamin. The more biomed I did, the worse my kid got. He was better off at 4 than he is now and I can’t help wonder what he’d be like had we left him alone.

    • Thinkingmominthedesert says:

      I think he meant more along the lines of those who don’t pursue “recovery” in general for their child, not those that don’t do biomed. There’s a lot more to recovery than just biomed, and like u said- some kids recover with a ton of intervention and others with minimal. But there’s a definite mindset, attitude & commitment that is obvious to see when a parent has an endless amout of hope that their child WILL overcome their challenges. There is a sense of relentless determination that u are willing to do whatever it takes to help your child climb the highest mountains to reach their goals. I am one of those parents. My belief in these things and my faith in my child’s potential from the start is why he has surpassed everyone’s expections and nearly recovered today. U have to believe that your child CAN get better first. I think what he was questioning in these parents was the underlying pessimistic disbelief in healing that leads them to be uninterested in pursuing biomedical interventions.

      When I read this post, I thought about this topic in relation to our own journey, who & what I’ve witnessed along the way. I would never judge anyone, for I have never walked in their shoes. But I can comment on what I do know from walking in my own shoes. It made me think about the fact that the ONLY 2 (asd) kids in my son’s schl who’ve truly made significant progress (all around) are my son and this lil girl who is 1 yr younger. They are the ONLY 2 kids following a diet protocol & supplement regimine, parents believe in no medicine/no vaccines & maintain a “biomed” style of living?? Is it a coincidence?? I don’t think so.

      On my son’s first day of K (2yrs ago), another parent commented that my son spoke so well she couldn’t believe he was in the same class. I explained how it wasn’t always this way. She sincerely wanted to know how he got to this point and I gave her a GFCF diet 101 lesson. She was determined. She asked for lists. I provided a bag full of “all the good stuff” to help her get her non-verbal 4yo started-basics like the best GF bread, pasta, cookies, crackers, etc… She was thankful & hopeful! Three wks later she returned the bag with everything in it, mostly untouched saying her son was just so picky & it was really hard to get him used to it & he didn’t like the new tastes & she didn’t see enough improvement & he was more constipated (?), etc….. Look, I can’t force anyone to do anything. But one (like minded peeps like me) has to wonder, what causes these parents to either not attempt anything at all, or give up so quickly & easily?? Isn’t your child’s future worth the effort?

  11. Kiwismommy says:

    My daughter too went from severe autism to now functioning at an extremely high level, thanks to intensive biomedical treatment, and music is a big part of her life as well. She now plays six different instruments and is writing her own music. We just got back from a trip to Disneyland with the High School Band and Choir as part of the Disney Performing Arts program. I too see other kids that were diagnosed at the same time yet their parents wouldn’t or couldn’t do what we did. They are not doing well.
    The biggest accomplishment yet though was when she made Varsity cheerleader as only a freshman and the year has been a huge success. She is very good, and yes she is a perfectionist and yes she has a photographic memory, but there was a lot of social skills required to carry off this season that I worried horribly about, but it turned out wonderfully. And several of those new cheerleader friends, well, they all hung out together and went on rides with my daughter at Disneyland. At this point all the worries seem to be mine and her job is to make me look silly.
    Congratulations Mel, there is so much more to come, it is a wild ride but more than worth it!

  12. -BB says:

    I am so glad for your son that he is able to play an instrument. I am at the stage when I think my son was purposefully not offered an instrument because of his Autism. Your article has me wondering….. do schools discriminate by offering lessons to only some of the kids, or to those they deem ‘higher functioning’?

  13. Lioness says:

    Excellent post.. yet again 🙂 I was so happy to read of your “normal”night! I was just telling my husband the other day about a mom I know who still continues to vaccinate and give antibiotics to her ASD twins.. I get so frustrated know I can no help those children whose parents think I am the “crazy” one.

    Sigh. We can only do so much….

  14. Mel says:

    I applaud the family whose efforts paid off with biomed treatment and I understand the other family was not receptive in pursuing treatment. However, I think we have to be careful not to judge other families who may have an older child that doesn’t function as highly as being a family who has not worked hard to get their child help. Fact is, there are non-responders and the last thing we need to do, as a community, is pass judgment on parents as if they haven’t done enough. There’s enough guilt in autism as it is. There are different paths to injury and illness and there are different paths to recovery. Some are lucky enough to find their way back. Let’s not forget those that do work hard but may not be as successful. It’s not from lack of trying in many, many cases.

    • Lassie says:

      I agree with Mel. Sadly, perhaps this family was discouraged by the fact that for some kids, biomed does not yield many positive, lasting results. Not saying that is an excuse not to try – because even marginal improvement or improvement enough to prevent further decline is better than nothing – nevertheless, not really fair to judge. Because it is a fact that much more needs to be figured out in the biomed arena so that there is healing for ALL. It really is not just a matter of how hard you work as a parent.

    • Erin says:


  15. Taximom5 says:

    Please please PLEASE get both your child and your friend’s child to your local Suzuki music teacher, if you are in an area that has one. I can help you find one who has registered Suzuki teacher training credentials–very important, as some teachers SAY they teach Suzuki when they’ve never been trained, they just use the books.

    Although the method was never intended for autistic kids, it is unbelievably perfect for them.

    It teaches everything auditory processing therapy does, in much the same way, but it adds group classes as well as private lessons, and those group classes not only add neurotypical peers, but teach social, listening and eye contact skills an a positive, playful, nurturing way, with each child learning at his own pace. Unlike auditory processing therapy, the kids also come out of it with a skill (playing an instrument) that can be used in social situations throughout their lives.

    This is one of the therapies that helped my child “catch up” to his peers. Biomed is great, but it doesn’t handle the aspect of teaching their brains what they need to learn. And learning to play an instrument develops neurological pathways that they might be able to use in place of thimerosal-destroyed pathways.

    • thecounttmr says:

      Thanks for mentioning it…I have heard of the Suzuki method, it didn’t even occur to me look into it for him. I did think that playing the viola would help with neuro development, coordination. The big problem we have now, is he’s not practicing daily like he should. With school in the daytime, homework, Kumon, FastForward, etc there’s only so much I can ask of him. Yes, I also agree with you, biomed is one aspect….but there is really something to the Disconnected Kids theory and brain plasticity.

      • Taximom5 says:

        We did Kumon, too! It was helpful for all our children, but oh, I got SO tired of correcting all those papers (and paying Kumon for ME correcting all those papers). Still, it’s the best that I’ve found.

        I will say that viola is, in many ways, much more difficult than violin, at least in school situations, because the viola parts in school orchestras are almost always terrible. Not true for “real” orchestral music, but unfortunately true for parts written for student orchestras.

        The Suzuki method is nice for this, because the violas play in viola group, and they always get to play the melody. In school string orchestras, they usually play something that’s actually LESS than harmony–they play fill-in notes that don’t make any melodic sense. Usually they just get whole notes or downbeats. Difficult to latch on to, and even harder to practice because you don’t know if/when you are making a mistake.

        On the other hand, some schools DO use a Suzuki-based string curriculum, and then it’s a much better situation.

        You might ask your school’s teacher if (s)he has any Suzuki training. A surprising number of them do. (S)he might be willing to work privately with your child during indoor recess, or when he needs a break from the academics.

  16. Lily Greene says:

    I don’t have the same situation, but I understand. My daughter has a genetic condition, in which 80% of children with also have ADHD, and 40% of them have ASD. I know both of these are caused iatrogenically. I am in many other groups and see people struggling with these conditions, and know they are the self-same people who balked when I mentioned not vaccinating. I know cases are different and one cannot un-vaccinate, feeling sadness, knowing they could have avoided, or in your situation improved their son’s outcome.
    I got derailed.

    Excellent post as always.

  17. LizP says:

    My relationship to my daughter with Autism is as an adoptive mom. At the time I came to realize she was “severely autistic,” I had a friend who had also adopted a son who was eventually diagnosed “severely autistic.” Ironically, it was she, who explained my daughter’s addiction to milk and set us on our path to biomedical interventions. I tried to pull her along, too, but she just didn’t seem to be up for it.

    It is now 13 years later. My daughter has struggled mightily to overcome her “Autism” hurdles. She has participated, one-on-one, in over 18,000 hours of behavioral/speech/OT/PT therapies, she takes over 35 supplements daily, enzymes with meals, and probiotics, she eats an allergen-free organic diet, and she has had a goodly number of blood, urine, MRI, EEG, and muscle tests. She was never supposed to speak with intent or toilet train, based upon her diagnosis at 2, and it was declared that she was ineducable and retarded at 5; today, she speaks like all the kids her age, she is fully toilet trained, she is academically on-par with her age-peers, she can balance a checkbook, she can ride her bike and swim and dance, she has friends, she learned to play the baritone this past summer, and she is striving to become a teacher or maybe a pilot. She is always going to have “severe Autism,” but she is learning to work around it.

    My friend’s son has been passed from grade-to-grade with reduced expectations, he can echo when asked to speak, but is not engaged and cannot express how he feels. He has learned to play some percussion instruments. He continues to exist a little in our world and a lot in his own.

    I do not know if either of our children will ever be entirely independent. This said, I can see the difference in trajectory for the future, already set-in-motion…While I can’t prove the difference in their outcomes, so far, was a result of biomedical interventions, given the same situation, I wouldn’t hesitate to follow the same path, again.

  18. My heart breaks when I read stories like this, and I feel that they are all too common. What is it that keeps people from pursuing a biomedical approach? Is it fear? Why is the fear of trying biomed greater than the desire to recover your child? I don’t get it. Is it lack of education? Too hard? Too much work? Too much money? Not fun enough?

    • AmyinIdaho says:

      I ask this question at least daily. Fear of failure? Fear of success? Seems that a lot of people these days really hate being uncomfortable (there’s a pill for that!) and that includes being uncomfortable with examining your paradigm, the dogma you’ve been clinging to and the emotional discomfort that comes from really doing some deep self-examination. Or maybe it’s just that the flouride is working 😉

    • Erin says:

      Money, money and more money….trying and trying and trying biomedical interventions that don’t work. Don’t worry about some of us at all, I have no GREATER desire than to recover my child in whatever form that my be. I have given up my career and hours and hours of reading and study and I will give up so so so much more. I will do it with a smile because there is no one on this EARTH more important to me than this little boy. It is always hard, it is always work, and let me tell you Nothing is fun about it but it is my only job and I take it very seriously. We do not medicate and will continue to seek out his underlying issues. To dismiss other parents as giving up as being all too common, maybe they have tried. I always think compassion goes a lot further than judgment.

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