Monday, September 30, 2013

Day 8: Is this Asberger's??

Taz designsed a "Paint by Number" Sheet
the idea was all his own
he completed this with no prompting or help...
Since Kindergarten, Taz has declared that he
will be a Submarine Captain when he is an Adult.
He has 3 Remote control Submarines,
and loves to play with them in
swimming pools, small creeks,
any place we allow.
His art work always reflects some part of him.
He is often mistakenly thought of as having
Asperger's Syndrome because he has
memorized vast amounts of knowledge
about a great many topics. 
Here are some of his favorite subjects:
  Penguins, Kittens,
Submarines, Crabs, Airplanes,
Fly Fishing, Trout fishing,
Building Train Tracks,
and Basic Mechanics.
He also begged me to teach him to sew.
In my reading, Asberger's subjects have a vast knowledge that is limited to only a few subjects
(about which the child obsesses).
Taz obsesses and Thinks about/Talks about/manipulates with his hands/etc.
on things until he has "mastery" over the material. 
In my opinion, his is different than the Asberger's obsessive behavior.
This mastering of topics also tends to wear him out,
and we are grateful that he sleeps well without intervention.
Many have told me there is nothing at all "wrong" with Taz.
Elderly people have said, "Just take that boy out in a field and LET HIM RUN."
But they don't see the day to day,
week to week concerns that are evident to me.
They don't see that his handwriting is on a level with first semester Kindergartners.
They don't understand that he clicks and hums unknowingly when un-medicated.
Or even Meows sometimes.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Day 7: First Major Meltdown

Today was Special… We were to have a family day… fishing and boating were planned,
but we needed to get some of our morning routine completed before we left for our
outing. One essential task was omitted, which caused havoc in the whole “operation.”

Hubster thought I patched Taz, and I thought Hubster did it. We usually do so at 0530
am, and he is fully medicated and agreeable by 0730. Here it was, 0700am. Taz made
his clicking sounds, sang, was very talkative, and very active. This is typical when he first
awakens, since the Daytrana Patch can take up to 2 hours to become effective. I kept
thinking, “Come on, Patch, do your thing.”

He dove into his breakfast of sausage, apples, carrots, and some alfalfa sprouts, but he
kept insisting on having “Pop tarts.” As we explained that those were full of chemicals
that would hurt his brain, he became angrier and angrier. By the time it was time to
brush his teeth and get dressed; he was in full Tazmanian drive. His voice was loud,
and despite trying to remain calm and keep my voice quiet, he became louder with his
“NO’s.” I know the neighbors could hear his voice outside, he was very loud with his
refusals to comply.

I continued to ask him to get dressed, to brush his teeth, thinking that the patch was
bound to do its thing any second. I set the timer for 5 minutes (as the counselor told me
to do instead of nagging about getting dressed). I warned him that if he wasn’t dressed
in 5 minutes, he would not be permitted to play his Minecraft game tonight. He had
a play wooden sword, and he came out with it into the kitchen. As I turned to go to
the table, he poked me in the back with his wooden sword. It did not hurt, (except my
feelings), but I felt that he had disrespected me in poking me with it, instead of obeying

I sent him to his room, but he refused to go.
I led him to his room. I was getting angry myself. By now, I realized he was not
medicated. I left him there to cool down (for me to cool down, too), found Hubster, and
asked him to patch the boy.

Taz was angry at me, but maybe Hubster could get some progress with him. Patched and angry, he remained in his room. He bumped around and made noise to seek attention and vent, I suppose. He ranted about how unfair it was to be on this diet, blah, blah. I empathized in my heart, but decided to let him work it out on his own in there this time. After about 20 minutes, he came out (it is
understood that one does not come out of the room until they are ready to be instructed
or to be pleasant). He wanted to go outside, so I obliged. He was dressed, at least. No
teeth cleaning, but I let that slide.

Out he went, and as I watched him jump 300 times on his pogostick in the backyard, I
wondered if he would ever be able to live a normal, healthy life without medication.
 I hate the medication. I hate the side effects: the anxieties, the fears, the inhibition of
the person he really is. Hubster says the medication turns Taz into an average girl of his
age: afraid of bees and spiders and thunder and a balloon popping.

Left unmedicated, the boy has NO FEARS. He used to walk around in the middle of
the night in the pitch black as a toddler, never afraid of the dark or the Boogie man. At
age 4 in Martial Arts, he would take on the instructor, kicking and punching him with
no fear of retaliation. I remember at age 2, when he got away from me at a hotel pool,
ran as fast as lightning to the deep end, and stepped in… sinking straight to the bottom
of the pool. If it hadn’t been for the two teenage girls swimming there at the time, he
would surely have drown.

Unmedicated, Taz is often fairly uncontrollable, and unable to govern himself normally as
a boy of 10. Daniel (from Brain Balance) says that is because he is not a boy of ten,
but half of his brain is actually around 2-4 years old. This is verifiably accurate most
of the time when Taz is unmedicated. He behaves like a 2 year old when he does not
get “his way.” I have read a few blogs from moms of Autistic Spectrum children, and I
feel uncomfortably familiar when reading their stories of times of uncontrolled, angry
behavior in their Spectrum children.

I pray this program works, not only for my son, but for those
mothers whose blogs I read. I pray that autism is a disease from
which persons can recover, no matter how severe the disease. I
pray that the brain truly is neuroplastic, and can change. I pray
I am doing my part in the core exercises and eye training, that I
am doing them most effectively and properly. I have asked the
prayer warrior women that I trust to pray for us on this journey,
especially now, with this controversial, yet hope-filled Brain
Balance program.

After the meds had taken effect, I had a small heart to heart with
Taz, who, as usual, was sincerely repentant and full of apologies
for his indiscretions earlier. He was thinking and acting like a ten year old again. At least
it seemed so. After making amends, hugging, and telling him how
much I love him, I shared that perhaps this journey would spark
something in him, a desire to learn and research and discover
more ways to help those on this “Spectrum.”

“All things work together for GOOD to those who are called
according to HIS purpose, and to those who obey.” -Romans 8:28

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Day 6: Reflections while Attending a 5K Run

A year ago I volunteered to help with a 5K fundraiser at a Church Camp in Douglassville.  The challenge was that I was going it alone with Taz for this, since my Hubster had to work today.

 It was a 2 hour car trip to get there, but I took the easy way out, and just put the Taz in the car in his PJs, did not feed him or worry about brushing the teeth until we stopped at a rest stop about 90 miles into the trip.  My plan worked, the medication patch had taken effect by then, and Taz dutifully changed out of his PJ's into his jeans and t-shirt in the back of the car.  The dental hygiene was less than thorough, but I figured, it is only one day, perhaps his teeth will survive. 

Once we arrived, there were forbidden foods EVERYWHERE.  It seems that healthy runners do eat cake, and whoopee pies and cookies.  Hmmm.  Ironic.

Taz was unaffected by the temptation, most likely because of his Daytrana Patch, which virtually anihilates his appetite for at least 10 hours a day.  This means we have to force him to eat.

 So the beautiful cakes, cookies, and Whoopie Pies did not come in to his radar at all.  He never once asked if he could have them, let alone so much as a drop of water during the whole 5 hour event.  

However, he DID squirm, grimace, and cover his ears at the loud music, the balloons popping, and the gun shot that started the race.  I suppose this is his still-present and dreadfully unwanted Moro Reflex, one of the six primary reflexes we so diligently strive to disintegrate by doing the eye and core exercises three times a day.    

Taz calmly pushed this one year old for 20 minutes,
helping out with the younger children while
their parents ran the race

    A few of his anxieties accompanied us, too. Within 5 minutes of arrival, Taz found a HUGE snake skin, resulting in avoidance of walking in the grass for the day.

The bee fear showed up when these tiny gnats (which annoyed everyone, flying about the head) finally won the battle:  he refused to go out of the garage building.  This was actually to my advantage, since I was assigned to babysit 12 children in the garage during the event. 

I was reminded, however, of an incident that occurred 4 years ago, when I had attempted to bring the Taz here to Camp by myself.  He was 5 and a half, and so active that he rarely stood still.  Two hours after we arrived, there was a campfire, and it got dark.  I turned around for 5 seconds to pierce a marshmallow to roast on the fire for S'mores, and he was gone. 

We had 15 teens, and 10 adults looking for Taz that night.  It took us 30 minutes, but we found him 400 yards away, behind the cabins, swinging on the Tree Rope (in the pitch black, alone).  At that age, Taz had NO FEAR.  He could outrun a Cheetah, and had the "night vision" of a bat.  He also established a reputation of being "different" within hours of arriving anywhere we went with this type of behavior. 

And so, today, I will choose to thank you, LORD for a few anxieties.  They could save his life, or at least keep him within 50 feet of me.  Thank you for medication, so that Taz is now calm, and able to enjoy babies and children younger than his age.  And most importantly, thank you for molding Taz's servant heart, which demonstrated patience, kindness, and helpfulness today. 

Friday, September 27, 2013

Day Five; The First Weekend

Friday Night Schedule: 

Leave school with Taz, go directly home, perform #1 core and eye exercise sessions, complete homework, put veggies and roast in crockpot, swipe at the counters, then RUN out the door for our Brain Balance session #3.  Taz did wonderfully, although he said he would rather go to "Monkey Joe's."  The protests were minimal, and here is his report card for the day from the therapists at Brain Balance.

Next:  Back home, I get the supplements (#1) in Taz, Get dinner on the Table, Eat, and Try to get Taz to eat some veggies and some fruit (he loves meat, Thank the LORD)... Clear table (everyone clears their own dishes), put dishes in dishwasher, call my mother, swipe the dinner table and counters, put leftover food away. 

Then:  I help Taz Perform his last Core and Eye Exercise Session for the day (this takes us about 11-13 minutes if Taz cooperates).  Next is 20 m ins of reading together as a family from our story (Gulliver's Travels, adapted for children).  We quickly discuss the main points of the reading.  My next essential goal is to get the #2 supplement servings into Taz's body (he calls the one supplement "Mud," and avoids it at all costs).  I bribe him by giving him 5 extra minutes on the Computer Game "Minecraft" for Saturday.

  He finally obliges after 10 mins. of protests, and gulps the brown mushy substance down (I mix it with 3 ozs. of OJ, but it is still pretty bad in looks and smell).  I praise Taz for doing yet another "Hard Thing" for his health, all the while leading him to the shower to clean up for the day.

 Taz takes long showers, thoroughly enjoying himself by singing, talking to himself, floating anything he can find in there, and basically distracting himself in every way possible from doing what he is supposed to be doing:  washing himself.  I have never known as shower by Taz that has not required a reminder to "Wash your face, and remember those underarms." 


Taz cuddles up to Hubster to watch a bit of a DVD (Heroes of the Bible- from the Public Library).  I hop in the shower, hop out, and take the calming B6 lotion and a yawning Taz to his Bedroom.  As we lay on his bed, I massage the B6 (and other essential vitamins) into his back as I tell him a story about two kittens on an adventure on the White River in Arkansas.

 I love the smell of the lotion from Brain Balance, using it twice daily to help Taz not only get the vitamins, but hope for the promised calming effect as well.  It works.  The lemon balm aroma mixed with the droning of my monotone voice telling about the kittens, along with the long, comforting strokes of the back rub lull Taz to a peaceful, restful place.  We say his Night-time prayers, and he is off to dreamland.  

As I leave his room, I reflect back on our first week of Brain Balance.  Yes, it was HECTIC, BUSY and rushed.  But we made it to day 5.  In one piece, and without too much stress or tantruming.  I whisper a little prayer of Thanks to my LORD for getting us this far.  Onward and Upward!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Day Four: A Night at Home (at last)

Our fourth day on the Program went off with only a small glitch: 

To distract him fm the Biscuits,
we made "Gack Goop"
Taz enjoys slipping into his
Super Hero Outfit after school

Taz had an intense craving for KFC Biscuits. 

Poor guy!  I can relate, I have been craving lots of carbs, but it hurt me so much to see him beg for just one biscuit. 

 I feel some shame and regret for not researching more carefully, and not sooner.

  I have allowed him to OD on the carbs, unknowingly poisoning him, and converting while flour and junk food to sugar to cause Leaky Gut and brain inflamation for long enough. 

I shudder to think of the damage I have done to my precious child.  The trouble he has been in at school, at church, and at home, caused most probably at least in part by the sugar, starch and unprocessed foods I have laid before him and encouraged him to eat. 

Such foolishness some of us have lived with!  But now, with the Truth in my hand, I am making a change.  His tears and begging for Biscuits only strengthened my resolve to help him develop the same desire for fresh, organic food.  Clean Food. 

Taz'z behavior has been excellent.  Even Hubster commented on Taz's obvious change.  He is calmer, less argumentative, and outwardly happier. 

The supplements seem to be making a big difference.  I love the B-vitamin calming cream (more on that later).  Brain Balance supplies us with 8 supplements to be given once, twice, some of them 3 times daily.  So far Taz has taken them without much hesitancy.  I pray this continues. 
this is a sample of some of Taz's creative endeavors...
a unique devil bug made with stuff from around the house

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Day Three: Smooth Sailing

Today was BUSY,
but nice.  Taz did his exercises with no hesitancy,
and took his supplements like a Marine under orders. 
 I was relieved. 

We rushed home to do homework, then out the door at 4:15 for Brain Balance Session. 
Jon rated him all 5's, and we were back home before we knew it.
To Do:
 More Homework for School
With all the hours we put in at night on Homework, I
really think he might get it ALL done more quickly if we would
Home School.
But then there is the Social Aspect.
And the Income Aspect.
And the Patience Aspect.
Something to ponder.
Not sure we could stand each other 24/7, either.
Homeschool??  Maybe not.
Just for fun, here is a look at

Taz's Artwork this week: 
We were given 7 snake eggs by a family
who has a farm

4 of them hatched this week

 This is what came of it...
Art Project at School
The Art Teacher asked last week if I had ever had
Taz Tested for Autism.
Guess somethings are apparent in
Artistic Expression?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Day Two: Thoughts on Friendship, Food, and Handwriting...

Thank Goodness Taz
has been able to make
lots of friends.
This was a photo from
last spring, when we invited all
the boys from Taz's class and
his girl cousins over for a
Science Play date

Taz with Andres, best friend fm schoo
Throwing Boomarangs in the field
(Potato is for Hubster,
 who is still uncompliant with the diet)
A true meat and potatoes man!

Sample of School Work...
Handwriting is a bone of contention. 
But Daniel, the Brain Balance Coordinator
explained that it may be
similar to: 
If someone asked me to write an essay,
but I had to wear thick gardening gloves while writing,
this is Taz's challenge.

Check this out:
 It is free to join, and a great place to ask questions
 and get support or encouragement.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Day One Brain Balance: Here We Go!

We arrived in the Brain Balance Center with time to spare.  Sitting in the waiting room for our first session with the Therapists, I observed a set of sisters, one about Taz's age, and one younger (maybe 6 or 7).  The younger one was visibly irritated and picking on her older sister.  The oblivious father sat in the corner reading a book.  Taz took note of the bickering, but held his peace.  Both girls were very active, moving about the waiting room and going out into the foyer at times, talking to Pam, the Receptionist/Hostess. 

In a few moments, Jon (the Therapist) came in to the Waiting Room and called the names of Taz and the older girl.  He took them into the hallway, told them to remove their left socks, then swiftly disappeared into the "back rooms for therapy."  

I passed the time by reading some articles on Autism and looked at some recipes.  The hour flew by, and soon Taz and the girl were back out in the waiting room, a flurry of paper and shoes and socks.  Below is the "Report Card" Taz received.  I am told he will have one to let me know how he behaved and his progress after every session. 

"Did you like Jon?"

"Yes, he made me do pushups and it hurt my arm."

"But was he nice?"

"Yes, everyone was nice, I had to read, then do math, but it wasn't too hard."
Here is the Report of Taz's First day
in the Brain Balance Center.
Of course, this is a medicated Taz.
I will try one day without medication to see
what the results are.
And so, we begin, with much prayer and hope.
Onward and Upward
to Neuro-improvement!