Shortly after our appointment with doctor #4, Aiden started doing speech therapy and occupational therapy weekly. We found that teaching Aiden signs greatly decreased his frustration and increased his ability to communicate with us. It also decreased our frustration from playing the guessing game of his needs. We also started using weighted blankets that have made a tremendous difference as well. It’s amazing to Rachel and I how something as simple as fabric and peebles could make such a difference for Aiden. Whatever it takes, we will do.
Last summer we had his first appointment with the allergist who is also an asthma specialist. He has been an amazing source of help with Aiden’s allergies and asthma, but I think he thought we were looking for a magical cure by pushing to test Aiden for food allergies. We have not really looked into the autism diet books, but I was just following up on doctor #4’s suggestion that his ticks could be part sensory but also part food allergies or reactions from food allergies. So he tested Aiden & SURPRISE … he is allergic to corn, oats & shrimp. He only did the top 6 most common food allergies and Aiden swelled up really bad in three of them.
The thought of eliminating corn made me almost feel defeated. It was daunting to think of how much more this was going to change our everyday life. It’s in everything! I had to remember that I promised to do whatever I could to help him & if it meant cutting out those foods then that is what we were going to do. We have had to get creative, and some days I would be lost without pinterest’s help! I usually can take most recipes and make them Aiden approved, but when I can’t we have alternatives ready for him. As much as we can though, we all try to eat the same meal at dinner.
Words can’t describe how different he is with those foods out of his system. We have had some oops moments & it happens. The one positive thing we do know from it is how those foods truly do effect him. Aiden’s speech regresses, his meltdowns and frustration increase, his attention span decreases & so many other noticeable changes. His therapists could not believe the change they saw in Aiden from the time they started with him in May of 2011 and March 2012. They could tell when we had opps moments & would also have to deal with the effects as we were detoxing. Our ultimate goal is to be gluten free as well but for now we are just working on keeping the corn, oats & out. One day and one step at a time.
This January we had our long awaited appointment at the developmental clinic & with one of the top autism specialists in the state. Can I just say that when parents say that people have no idea how much autism costs they are not kidding! We spent the day meeting with their speech therapist, their occupational therapist and then of course the doctor. It was a very informative day that didn’t share anything we were not expecting but we now have a formal diagnosis. There isn’t anymore you have to have this test, and talk to this doctor, etc.
It was one more piece in the puzzle. It was the closing of this chapter. We had final answers, we can now focus on helping Aiden. I don’t know what the future has in store but we do know one thing … Aiden will be the best Aiden he can be and we could not be happier to call him our son.