I’m writing this at 7.30 in the morning and Bridie is whinging at me in the background so I don’t know how coherent I sound. But hey, coherence is very overrated anyway! I’m excited that we’ve had some progress with Beth and really wanted to share it so I’ll have to write through it.
We went back to see Narida on Tuesday and I took Bridie for an assessment this time. Wow, it blows me away how things are detected. Nerida started with Iridology and noted that Bridie had a candida or thrush infection. She asked if she had experienced an itchy bum. I can’t remember how long it’s been since Bridie has had problems with a rash on and off. When she got out of nappies I figured it would get a bit better which it did but it’s still been there at various times. I’ve taken her to the doctors and they’ve taken swabs and it’s all come back clear. She’s been put on a candida diet for a few weeks which is very limiting but Nerida told me that this can effect her moods greatly. Fingers crossed. She’s not liking the diet at all as there’s no sugars and no bread. We’ll stick to the diet as closely as we can as there’s going to be days that it’s almost unavoidable to cheat. The good thing is that if you cheat once in a while it just stalls the healing, you don’t have to start all over again. So I think we’ll play it by ear. She was also treated for the vitamin B one that Beth took a while to clear. This is also for moods but I haven’t seen much difference there yet. As usual we came home armed with various medicines/drops/vitamins that cost us an arm and a leg. Luckily for Bridie it’s drops and powders that go into juice. Beth takes drops and powders and tablets but she’s older.
Beth was treated for artificial things. This was flavourings and sweeteners and anything chemical in shampoos and toothpastes. This was surprising very limiting as we were getting a hair cut in the afternoon and she couldn’t have her hair washed, or clean her teeth. Bleach was a problem too and the revolting thing I found out was that chickens are bleached unless you buy the organic version. Also frozen chips as they bleach them to keep them white. As Bridie was on the vitamin B detox for 24 hours we could only have fish and chips again. This meant in Beth’s case we couldn’t have them from the fish and chip shop or even frozen ones. Also the fish from fish and chips as she couldn’t have white flour. It wasn’t a big deal and I made it all myself though it’s such a treat buying fish and chips and that seemed to be my reward for sticking to the diet in the past. Still, we got through it fine.
After the treatment we had an appointment at the hairdressers. The problem was that High School Musical 2 was on the tely at 12 noon and our appointment was at 12.30. Beth cracked it big time and was very oppositional. We managed to get home for the second half. I even suggested that she stayed with Grandpa while I took the others, that way she could watch it at their house. No, it had to be at our house. Once again, we do have the dvd, but when it’s on the tely that’s what you watch it on.
Wednesday Paul had the day off and we went to see a play called The Great Big Story Book. This was organised by a friend from HAGS and her husband. It was good fun and the kids enjoyed it. We popped back for a visit to Grandma and Grandpa’s as they had friends over, then I took Beth off to Sensational Kids.
We had a good session.Â Whiskers had Beth with her for most of the time by herself and said she enjoyed getting to know Beth one on one. She started a book to record their progress and Beth had a hand in naming and decorating it. This will be a communication book between her, myself and school. Rod had Beth on a swing in the middle of the room for their whole session. He was asking questions of Beth to see if she got why sentences related to each other or not. For example he might say “My familyÂ likes to cleanÂ their teeth. I played tennis with my friend.”Â The fact that one sentence was about family and one was about self made them not relate, also the fact that they were 2 unrelated statements. Beth picked this up quite well and Rod was pleased. I found her to be a bit vague but her work was very good, picking up cues Rod wasn’t expecting.
The big news came yesterday morning. My regular readers will remember that Beth has issues with different tv shows and movies. She’ll watch something for a while then something will happen that often only she will know. It’s more than likely a sudden noise and she’ll get an aversion, starting to avoid certain parts of movies if she knows it’s coming, or whole tv shows if she doesn’t. Oscar the Grouch is the main problem, just in case he has his elephant with him. It started off with Oscar, then the whole of Sesame Street, then the ads on ABC kids, then the whole of ABC kids, just in case Oscar ever came on. She’s lessened that somewhat as I got fed up with pandering to something that effects the other kids but she always was ready to run during ads and had her fingers in her ears. Another biggie was Bananas in Pyjamas. Once again, she loved it but something happened and it was dumped.
Yesterday morning she changed the channel at 9am and I thought she’d put on ABC3 which doesn’t have any of the little kids shows on. In a Night Garden came on and I thought to myself that it was a show that she didn’t like but figured that I got it wrong as she sat and watched it. While I was cleaning my teeth Bananas in Pyjamas came on and I poked my head out to see if she had run off but she was sitting their watching it. Wow, I was right as she would avoid the whole 9 – 9.30 viewing on ABC kids. We then headed off to Bec’s house for a play, Bree has just come back from 2 months away and Prue popped over so all the kids had a huge play and we had a good old natter. Beth decided to pick a dvd and after much deliberation chose The Piglet Movie. This was a movie that she had loved years ago but then had a reaction to some bees at the start of the movie as they make a noise that Beth didn’t like. I couldn’t believe that she had chosen that one. It was like she was deliberately choosing to watch movies and tv shows that she had avoided for so many years. Her anxiety levels must be going down, allowing her to do things that she never allowed herself to do before.
I’m so happy with this new development as I’ve always believed that autism is about extremes of what we all feel. Extreme anxiety about things rule their lives, whether it’s about trying a new food or going to a new shop or hairdressers, even going a new route in the car. If we can combat the anxiety then the behaviours should lessen. Once again, as with the chelation and flaxseed treatment last year, Beth’s autistic traits are coming out big time, lots of jumping up and down and making noises. Lots of oppositional moods too. I don’t know whether it’s the body’s reaction, a sort of confusion to these new feelings and awarenesses that are going on or whether it’s a coincidence. It doesn’t really matter, there’s improvement in areas that I never thought would happen. This is the first behavioural improvement we’ve seen. Through both treatments there’s been improvement in communication but I’m never sure if it’s through treatments or therapies which have been doing wonders. It’ll be interesting to see how she’s go with Oscar the Grouch, or with the doctor in the Simpsons that, due to her incredible memory, she knows is coming in episodes that she’s only seen once. She will run out of the room when he’s about to appear. Still, one step at a time!