Thursday, March 4, 2010

Healing My Sons, Introduction


Both of my sons have speech/language/learning issues. Neither has been diagnosed with having Autism, or even being on the Autism Spectrum. All three of them are intelligent, learned men. I’m not sure if Raymond and Jona are Natural Late Talkers, have a language delay, a language disorder (there is a difference), ASD, Echolalia, or what. They will see a developmental pediatrician in May, which will help.

Here is my bottom line and mission statement: To help my sons to reach their full potential as boys and men.

My goal with this blog is to chronicle my children’s healing with a gluten-free/casein-free vegan diet (GFCF), a raw vegan diet, yoga, martial arts, acupressure, and any other holistic & educational therapies that help my boys thrive.

I agree with the late Ann Wigmore that the root of disease is toxicity and deficiency. I also believe that we are mind/body/spirit entities and that healing takes place on all three levels.

I created the domain in September 2008. Today is the first time I’ve written, at length, about my children. I’ve wrote about a successful gluten-free experiment I did with my sons in May 2008 on my other blog, The Raw Mocha Angel, but that has been it. Let me briefly introduce my beautiful boys:

Raymond and his speech therapist, Miss Karen

Raymond, age 7.6 years old: The Bright-eyed Chatterbox

Raymond wakes up talking, and goes to sleep talking! He loves Disney/Pixar movies, and wants to be a director, a scientist, a builder, a chef, and a sandwich maker. He loves to cook, and is a Kinesthetic learner.

Up until the age of four, Raymond’s speech was unintelligible. It sounded like he spoke another language. But he always loved being around adults and children. He asks questions about the world all the time. He is in the 95th percentile for weight and height. He is as tall as a nine-year-old. My specific concerns are:
- Constipation. Up until my first gluten-free experiment, Raymond suffered from constipation. He always strained going to the bathroom. During the two weeks he was gluten-free in May 2008, he had BMs 12 out of 14 days. I recently did another one for fifteen days. He has BMs 13 out of 15 days.
- Leaky Gut symptoms. When I saw this on Sunshine Boatright’s site, I laughed. Raymond had a “beer belly” even though he is tall and slim. That has gone down being gluten-free.
- Food reactions. After a Halloween party in which he had regular cake, Raymond came home confused. He seemed lost. And during his birthday party a few months prior, he threw up.
- At least four stomach viruses.
- Poor eye contact. This has gotten better, but I know he lacks confidence sometimes in what he is expressing.
- Reading at a first grade level.
- Math at a kindergarten level.
- Has trouble understanding directions.
- Poor short-term memory. (Fantastic long-term memory!)
- Trouble with both expressive and receptive language.
- Repeats words or phrases to himself. For example, may say “Dog?” over and over again for 10 seconds.

Raymond receives individual & group speech therapy twice a week. He also has gotten an IEP through his local elementary school. Looking at the whole picture though, I believe the change in his diet is key. When he first went gluten-free, the behavioral change was dramatic. My husband noticed and was amazed. This latest round of gluten-free has not been dramatic at all. Only his BMs have changed. My next goal is to put him on a raw vegan diet for a week and see how he does, behaviorally and academically.

Jona, age 5.2 years old: The Imaginative Cool Cat

Jona is a creative kid with a vivid imagination. He loves to act out scenes from movies, loves to draw, spell, and play in his brother’s science kit. He’s a photographer too. “Strong-willed” is the best way to describe Jona. I’ve got lots of stories about how my son sticks to his guns. As my husband puts it, we’ve worked hard to get Jona to be “civilized.” Rom says to give him another year. :-)

Language-wise I do suspect Echolalia. A perfect example happened yesterday, but what followed was remarkable. I’d taken Raymond to speech therapy at the local elementary school. Jona and I walked around while we waited for Raymond. Jona saw four kids in a music class. They were all playing violas. The teacher allowed Jona to watch. She asked him, “What is your name?” His response was, “Name!” That’s classic Echolalia. Instead of answering the question, the child repeats back part or the entire question. He sat in a chair, for 30 minutes, to watch and listen to the children practice “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.” I can’t remember the last time Jona sat still that long for anything. Of course, he wanted to play an instrument, and he didn’t want to leave. I had to bribe him with popcorn.

At the gas station, Jona, popcorn in hand, walked up to the cashier and said, “Hi, my name is Jona. This is my mommy. And this is Raymond.” I stood there stunned. A half-hour ago he couldn’t answer a question, but suddenly he *volunteers* not only his own name, but two others, and in full sentences. I could only point to the live music. Music is now part of his therapy too.

That’s my cool kids, in short. I’ll be honest about what works, what doesn’t, and how I do it. I believe mothers hold it down like no other. We need to stick together and share our testimonies. Thank you for coming along our (mine too) healing journey with us.




Everette said...

I am a 31 year old Moorish-American male living with schizophrenia. My experience is that diet and love makes all the difference. I take a small amount of an anti-psychotic medicine. However, I am in the process of weaning myself off the pharmaceutical and replacing it with Ayurvedic herbs and a healthier diet. Spiritually I have been taught that all drugs put holes in ones energetic field, as well as calcifies the pineal gland. As melinated beings of love attempting to thrive in a world of negativity and racism it is imperative that we align ourselves with divine law, as well network or resources, and over-standings. I honor you for your courage. This is healing work that you are doing. I look forward to being part of this journey with you and my young brothers. God bless. Black power. Black love. Black health.

Yeshua El Hajj Ben-Adam

Althea said...

Thank you! I do remember you too :-). Thank you for the love.

mpenzi said...

Peace my fellow earthmama, may you have a healing journey for you and your family. And as an earthmama of two youth (our son is four and our daughter is 2), I recognize your spirit of putting into action wholistic healing for not only the betterment of our family but community and ultimately the Universe...the role only a women especially a mama can initiate...Continue success and growth as this journey unfolds. Peace,love and light


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