Remembering things I already know, or living mindfully. Monday, Jun 22 2009 

I don’t have a medical reason for being easily distractable or naturally curious. I just am, and have always been interested in my surroundings. However, because I tend to forget things easily, I am also in a constant state of re-realization when I remember things that are relevant. For example, I know that if I get a full 7-8 hours of sleep I will function and feel better the next day. However, as I run out of time during the day, I often push back my bedtime in favor of some insipid TV show or quality computer goof-off time. This normally reaches a head when I get about 3 hours sleep one night, then I remember how much sleep I need and get to bed on time for a week or two. However, pretty soon I forget and the cycle starts again.

This happens a lot with Raymond too. He is a 5 year old, so that is trying enough for most parents, but he also has autism which adds a whole extra dimension to his behavior. However, on some days when he just won’t listen, I have to rein in my temper and take several deep breaths. Then I remind myself “He has difficulty with auditory processing, so he may not hear you since there is competing background noise.” This helps me reorient, and if we are home I turn off all competing noise sources and have a talk with him. If we are in public, I take him aside to somewhere quieter and try to talk to him. Then I realize all over again how important it is that I raise my son mindfully.

Mindfully. What an odd word, but one I find more appropriate as I get older. I think the reason I get so frustrated with a number of people is that they are not mindful of their actions. I am guilty of it too. I think it is human nature to take things for granted, assume that things are going well because they are supposed to go well and forget all the work we do to keep things headed in the right direction! I know that I do a better job for my clients when I keep this thought at the top of my thought list: “Their wishes are tantamount. Mine are irrelevant.” This helps me refocus and do the absolute best job for my people. The same is true for Raymond’s therapy. When I get my head totally into it, he responds better and we make more progress. When I have other things on my mind, he can sense it and is less responsive, less interested.

So if you can take one thing from this, try living mindfully. To quote Nicholas Malebranche, “Attentiveness is the natural prayer of the soul.” Say a prayer today by paying attention. I promise your rewards will be greater than your effort.


Biomedical and Supplements: Part 1 Sunday, Jun 7 2009 

Okay, this is the first in a series of many articles on biomedical interventions. We credit a great deal of our success with Raymond’s increased functioning to our biomedical work. I had this grand idea that I would type up outlines and have some sort of cohesive master plan, but that is just not happening. Instead, I’m going to do most of this from memory.

The first thing we tried, and this was way before autism, was Transfer Factor. It is a 4Life product, and 4Life is a multilevel marketing company. Honestly, if I didn’t love the product so much I would never put up with the rah rah from the company as that sort of thing annoys me. At any rate, transfer factor is immune intelligence contained in a certain type of white blood cell. This immune intelligence is harvested from eggs and cow colostrum, so this is NOT a vegan product!  However, it works well for us, as when Raymond takes it he stays healthy and if he goes off of it he gets sick.

I found it interesting that in Dr. Bock’s book, Healing the New Childhood Epidemics, that he only found TF effective in about half of his patients.  I use it myself and it helps keep my allergies in check.  We use it in a liquid form as 4Life makes an antioxidant juice drink called Rio Vida which is much tastier than swallowing capsules.  It ain’t cheap, but its totally worth it for us.

The second thing we tried that really gave us a good burst of language was a probiotic.  For those who don’t know, probiotics are supplements of good bacteria that will help your intestine digest food and function more effectively.  You can get plant based, animal based or human based probiotics.  If you use plant or animal based probiotics you will need to swap them out every 2-3 months.  However, if you use an HMF, or Human Micro Flora, probiotic there is no need to switch them up.

Our first major experience with probiotics came a couple years back when Raymond became ill with a major rotavirus.  He was so sick he ended up in the hospital on an IV.  Naturally they slammed him with antibiotics, so our pediatrician had us take his probiotic intake from 1/4 tsp a day to a full tsp a day so we could reseed his gut with good bacteria.  (Antibiotics kill off gut bacteria FYI)  As soon as we did that we noticed increases in eye contact and language.  That’s when we knew he needed it.

The third thing we do religiously is cod liver oil.  We do 2 tsp per day, 1 tsp in the morning and one in the evening.  It really helps Raymond think and focus.  I notice on the days we miss it we have behavior issues and more temper tantrums.  Not that those are absent when he takes it, but it is better when he has it.

That’s all I’m going to do for now, as wordpress and firefox are fighting and I need to figure out why!

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