Although Skyler had been doing very well and continuing to increase his language and awareness, last week everything changed. We received a horrible report from daycare saying that Skyler had been aggressive with other children all week. He had been making horrible messes and refusing to clean up, refusing to work with some of his therapists, and had been in the time out chair more often than he had been with his classmates. The caveat was when Skyler came home with huge scratch marks down his neck. Apparently, he had kicked a little girl’s sandcastle over, and she had attacked. It was so very hard for me to hear these reports after having a long period of such improvement! It felt like suddenly we had taken a giant step backwards, and I was heartbroken and discouraged.
As I usually do in times like this, I stayed up late at night, searching the Internet, hoping and praying that I could find the cause of Skyler’s regressive behavior. And indeed, I did find the answer online. Studies suggest that during times of high pollen or other allergens, autistic children tend to regress. As Dr. Kurt Woeller explained on his site:
“What I have typically seen kids do many times is when spring comes about, they get an increase in yeast, so their behaviors start to turn – inappropriate laughter, goofiness, giddiness, silliness, high self-stimulatory behavior, high sensory needs, seeing kids do all kinds of odd behavior with the onset of spring. This is usually induced by yeast issues secondary to allergy. Now, I think what is happening is as the immune system is keeping check of an underlying yeast problem and our body is being exposed to allergens, there is a shift in immune function where it starts to deal with the allergens. Essentially it leaves the yeast somewhat unopposed, and the yeast start to thrive in this particular situation. Now whether that is the exact mechanism that is happening or not is difficult to say, but it is a pattern that I have seen over and over and over again.”
Another article, “Neurobehavioral Disorders Increased by Pollen Exposure in Children with Autism and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)” went on to share a small study that was conducted with 47 children (29 with autism and 18 with ADHD). Among the 47 total children, 25 (53%) showed neurobehavioral regression during the natural pollen season. This study concluded that many children with ASD and ADHD exhibit marked neurobehavioral regression during the spring and fall pollen seasons. This shows an association between pollen exposure and central nervous system dysfunction, not related to typical IgE mediated allergies. Pollen exposure may have multifaceted impact on multiple organ systems.
So now that I was aware of what could be causing Skyler’s regression, the next step was how to address it. I turned to Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE). I have read many reports online in the past from parents that use this product. It kills yeast without the harmful side effects of prescription medications. GSE has been found to have intense antimicrobial and antifungal activity while showing no toxicity to humans or animals. Studies done to date indicate that there is little danger in either short-term or long-term use. Some say that GSE is like an ingestible, nontoxic bleach. It kills Strep, Staph, Salmonella, E. coli, Candida, Herpes, Influenza, parasites, and fungi. This product is quite simply the “Swiss Army Knife” of both prevention and cure. If you have any doubt, read the reviews on Amazon by clicking this link.
However, despite the amazing reviews and posts from other parents treating yeast in autistic children with GSE, I am always hesitant to start something new, especially something compared to Clorox Bleach! But, I felt like I had to do something to help Skyler, so I began with 2 drops twice a day. There were absolutely no side effects. The next day I tried four drops. And by day three, I was up to six drops twice a day. Still there were no side effects whatsoever. Many parents of autistic toddlers treat with six drops twice each day, so I remained at that level.
This week, Skyler has once again been a wonderful, loving child at daycare. By the end of the week, he was helping his teacher to clean up the classroom. His therapists remarked on improved behavior and asked what we’d done to cause such a positive change. Skyler is more “with it” than I’ve ever seen him, and remarkably, his language has again improved, with longer sentences and better articulation. Instead of screaming, “no shower!” at bath time, he is now calmly saying, “I don’t want a shower, momma.” Once again, I stand amazed at the power of simple supplements and natural treatments to bring about such a remarkable change in my little boy.
I’ve got to admit that I was never a health nut – I don’t take vitamins or supplements myself, and I just always assumed that they were frivolous and unnecessary. But, when one is blessed with an autistic child, you really get to see the power of these substances and their impact on the body. I am learning more about chemistry, biology, anatomy, and nutrition than I ever wanted to know. Our bodies are fascinating machines that are made up of miraculous processes and dynamic balances. So many things can throw off that healthy balance and cause problems in autistic children, and you almost have to become a detective to stay on top of these issues.
So we will forge ahead on our journey, and hopefully I can continue to learn more each day so that I can help this precious child to become all that he is meant to be. With the Center for Disease Control announcing today that autism rates are now at 1 in 88 (1 in 54 for boys!), I can only hope that more parents begin their journey and follow in our footsteps towards recovery. WE WILL GET THERE, and you can too!