Was thinking this morning during my time with God so many things to be grateful and thankful for when it comes to Tori and Tyler. I was laying there thinking of the extreme differences – she was always so advanced, an overachiever, so social, so busy LOL. Tyler was such and is the 100% opposite (no Tori does not have an Autism or Aspie diagnosis) As parents, we are always tired, special needs or not, but a special needs parent is a different kind of tired. Being tired is always secondary to the feeling of excitement and gratitude of his progress. When I reflect back to the time of diagnosis to the time of today, today is the day “that should’ve never been” all the things I was told that he wouldn’t do, very much out listed the things that he would do. Lots of therapies (and these continue) lots of reading on various options of doing things, lots of reading on the brain, food, medications, and natural methods of helping things in the brain (i.e. calmers, etc), using myself as a guinea pig in many areas and finding great results for both of us LOL. Trying things, stopping and returning. Knowing how far to push the envelope and other times pushing too far These evals we can do every 3 years in school I have not done one since he was five – I mean seriously, how many times do I need to be told he’s autistic and has spd – and I can see progress without it being on paper, but something in my gut urged me to ask for a complete re-eval. After these meetings, my brain and body shut down for adrenaline exhaustion – even when the results are good. Though Tyler has a long way to go to meet his true biological developmental markers in all areas of physical, emotional, social and academic he has come so far and achieved things I was told would never happen nor did I ever imagine would happen. Non-verbal, then echolalic, (still echolalic at times in very anxious and over whelming situations) sensory overload, aggressive and destructive behaviors, cognitive delay, verbal processing disorder, When it took me 4 1/2 years to potty train Tyler, I just had zero idea what life was going to be like. I still don’t. But I had always tried to do the best I could, keep a cleaner diet for Tyler and a pretty intense vitamin regimen including natural calmers. When the behaviors got too bad, I agreed to chemical restraints (medication) and more therapies. I never gave up hope on natural methods. I am a strong believer of toxins, toxins build ups in our bodies and food and chemicals affecting us (not absolute but affecting) so while he was on medication I hoped that I could pull him off one day (which has happened for now) People that have known Tyler for years are really surprised at his progress and to be truthful I am too. I have read so many books and internet articles, blogs, spoke to parents and it seems that from what I’ve seen, many people’s progress stems from cleaner eating and detoxing – whether you can afford methyl-b treatments, hyperbaric chambers, chelation treatments, dietary changes, supplement regimens, hygiene regimens and detoxing your home, etc. I can’t afford many of these intense detoxing processes but my mind was thinking, do what you want with what you have. So I continued research on things and utilized the funds I could for detoxing on a budget and one thing at a time. I know not everything effects everyone’s body and brain the same way. The toothpaste and mouthwash was an easier process – and he’s been fluoride free for about 3 years. So we started using Thieves toothpaste, an all natural toothpaste. I would switch between Tom’s of Maine and Thieves but I learned that Tom’s of Maine has Carageen in it, a product that promotes inflammation, connected to cancer and is an addictive that can have not so great effects on many people including in the gut area. Inflammation and the Gut are tied to the brain – so I decided to completely phase out Tom’s and be more regimented with Thieves for toothpaste and mouthwash. I use high grade supplements and essential oils to manage Tyler’s wellness.
So with Autism there are many delays that can go hand in hand with it and for Tyler he has strong cognitive delay, comprehension delays, and other related developmental things. Even though these Evals are 20 + pages long, this is a brief of them!
In 2008 his first eval he is severely autistic and at 5 years old he was at the level of a 20mos-21mos on almost everything thing tested from developmental testing, to social testing to academic testing. Over the years, Tyler was also an aggressive and impulsive child, which resulted in being on medication from 2011 – 2016 – today, with the help of diet, supplements and essential oils, Tyler is medication free.
2017 his scores were all over the place, he cooperated in all the testing – which is wonderful!!!!!
2008 – Tyler had 0 speech skills
2017 – oral scores range from average to below average range. Though he still qualifies for outside speech therapy he no longer qualifies for speech therapy (that supports the need in the academic environment – which is the speech provided by the school) But 6 years of speech therapy (and more to go) have truly helped improve these skills.
2008 – Tyler had 0 fine motor skills
2017 – scored average or above average on his handwriting skills (though his lettering is large and has difficulty in spacing between words) – speaking with OT who did the eval she said that she could tell that the therapy foundation helped tremendously in the skills that he has developed.
2008 – at the age of 5 was at infantile ages and toddler ages on many things
2017 even though he’s still below average the improvements are incredible!
Visual Motor Integration – now 8 years 7 mos
Visual Perception – now 9 years 8mos
Motor Coordination 6 years 8 mos
2008 – Simply put, 0 social skills, 0 ability to function in a classroom environment, His nickname was Manimal for a reason – my tarzan jungle boy baby
2017 – This was written about my son today (brings tears of joy to my eyes) Transitioning to high school, Tyler quickly grasped his schedule and is able to locate where his elective classes and transitions throughout his day. Tyler displays a happy and even disposition and frequently greets other students and particularly when they initiate a greeting. Tyler is cooperative and easy to work with (WORDS I NEVER DREAMED I WOULD HEAR). Tyler follows directions and adjusts to noise levels, with his headphones, without too much distress. He was cooperative during the evaluation process and transitioned with the examiner (who he did not even know). Tyler prefers routine tasks, daily structured schedules, and questions presented in a concrete manner. He can participate in small groups of 4-5 peer without difficulty. He needs verbal prompting to stay focused on tasks.
2008 – Tyler’s cognitive ability was severely low
2017 – Tyler’s cognitive ability is low (but not as low)
Tyler has great problem solving skills
Tyler is a visual learner not a verbal learner
2008 – Tyler has 0 academic ability when starting PPCD
2017 – Tyler has learned to read, can do simple math, works on science, social studies and other academic skills. (IMPROVEMENT)
Tyler is Autistic and has Sensory Processing Disorder. I am a realist. I am not not hopeful for change, but the way I view the reality of things is hardcore. More than likely he will be living at home. As of today, it make take years and years to develop true independence, comprehension, stronger cognitive and all around life skills (yes, I agree that many NT people struggle in various areas of these too) All kiddos are awesome but the reality is these kiddos grow up and where society thinks it’s cute and acceptable as children, they view the adult community in an entire different way. We are conditioned to expect certain things from adults including different-abled adults. I will push for as much therapy and continue therapy at home, as the older our loved ones get, the less programs there are available to them. For developmentally delayed people, these therapy and behavior programs need to extended way into adulthood, as these individual normally have 4 different levels (biological, emotional, social and academic) and many times there are big games between them! Academics will fall into place as the therapeutic skills develop.
I am leaps and bounds beyond excited for his improvement. I will continue to work on the traits of the spectrum diagnosis and neurological issues Diet, Supplements and Essential Oils and yes, brand matters. With therapy, Great Staff, Tutoring and God behind him – he might be delayed, but he is unstoppable!
If he has come this far in 9 years no telling what the next few years will bring.