Autism and Supplements: When to Say, "Fuck it"

I am on a local autism biomedical/DAN email list because even though Leelo is mostly off those protocols, I still learn a lot from the other parents on the list. Many fierce and fabulous minds write in, frequently.

And then there's me! I recently sent this message out, in response to a parent who was getting overwhelmed by her child's supplement regimen. I hope they don't kick me off the list:

Any decision regarding supplements can be brutal, at least in my experience, because there are so many possible factors that can affect our children's behavior. As careful and methodical as my partner and I tried to be, we were rarely certain when changes in our son's behavior were due to changes in his supplement regimen.

Having written that, it has been 3.5 years since we started a biomed/DAN protocol and we have cut back quite a bit after several trials of what had noticeable effects and what did not. Our son now takes only an autism-specific mega vitamin, probiotics, calcium, and cod liver oil. Probably only the first one qualifies as biomed/DAN due to its high B6/magnesium content. Probiotics help him not get sick so much, calcium is because his limited diet is practically vegan, and cod liver oil is because he's dual diagnosis autism/ADHD. I would like to get glutathione cream and B12 shots back in rotation, but right now they get him too agitated.

We also stopped vaccinating him and maintain a mostly-organic home and diet. He is no longer GFCF either, but then he was never really a candidate according to our DAN doctor's tests. We tried the diet for a year anyhow because there's no harm in doing so.

Another thing that has been helpful is appreciating my son as he is now rather than who he could or might be. I will still fight like hell for him and will investigate every new theory about helping him develop better communication and social skills, but I no longer think that recovery is a realistic goal for him, and that's okay. He's a great kid. Everyone else, continue the fight!

Finally, it is important for you to take care of yourself, so that you can be/even though you are an autism parent. It takes enormous resources and it sounds like yours are being stretched thin. I hope that this list provides you with some of the support you need, but also hope that you are getting breaks in real life (i.e., respite).

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,

No comments:

Post a Comment

Respectful disagreement encouraged.