little dog in medical uniform in light studio

I sometimes delve into this topic even though I know it’s very controversial. Hopefully when I explain it you will be able to understand it better, even if you don’t agree with my opinions.

Heavy Metals is a hot topic for those on the autism spectrum. Many people face this challenge and it is so hard to overcome, if you ever do overcome it.

I’m not here to debate vaccines versus no vaccines because I know what a sensitive topic this can be, but in my humble opinion, if our son had not been vaccinated, I know I would not be facing these issues with him.

His immune system overload could not handle the vaccinations that he was given. Not that they are bad, but his body was already compromised so they were bad for him, if that makes sense.

We previously did some DMSA chelation in the form of pills more than 2 years ago as he was very high in lead, mercury and a few other metals were concerning. The pills did a good job of ridding his body of these unwanted metals and was able to help contribute to his healing. The problem is that these metals are buried in his bones and tissues and even though we did this treatment, we obviously didn’t get them all out.

We decided to try a more aggressive and controversial treatment (no judgement please) that people are very hesitant to talk about, but we felt it was the right time as his body had made strides in healing in so many other ways.

This treatment is done via IV and you basically have to sit for about 20 mins (which would not have been possible for him even 2 years ago so this was off the table) while the chelating agent (drug) goes into you system. Simplified, this means that it is trying to aggressively move the metals out of your body via sweat, urine etc.

He is now in the middle of these treatments and I am so proud of him. He goes and sits there, has his treatment and then he even will go to school. He is so brave and strong and has to deal with so much. But I know that these treatments are helping. In fact, I can smell the metals coming out of his system, which is kind of exciting.

This is not the type of treatment you would do without a certified professional and it is definitely not the first course of treatment you would do at the beginning of a physical healing journey.

This treatment is not without risk but for us, the risk is worth it. Our son experiences a lot of tiredness and definite mood withdrawals and other irritation at certain points in the treatment but this is something that we just have to live with for the moment.

I am so grateful for our doctor and I am also grateful to my husband for working so hard so that we can pay for all of these treatments and medications that he needs to get to bring him to optimal health.

Our biomed journey continues…….stay tuned!

Gardening – growing things!

potted plant with green leaves on blue surface

So its the time of year when you think about growing and gardening. I must admit, I lack many skills in this area. My daughter is really fantastic at this, she has lots of plants, has done a lot of research and has many books on plants. She is my go-to resource for sure as I am learning.

My son and I joined an on-line garden club about a month ago. This has been great to share information and to start growing our own things. Last year we started our own herb garden and my husband built us a big herb planter for the backyard where we grew the ones we liked and then used them as needed.

This year however, we are delving into other areas. We have started with garlic, green onions (which I found out this morning that we did wrong) and celery. We are going to grow our own radishes, lettuce and tomatoes hopefully.

This is a great activity for us to do together and to learn about growing vegetables. I didn’t know that there were certain stages that you needed to follow especially before you plant them. We are planning on getting some big pots and starting our vegetables in these. For the herbs, I am just going to stick to buying the small plants and then planting them in our planter.

How wonderful this is for our mental health and our sense of togetherness. Learning something new together is very exciting and it is also great to be connected with an on-line group where we can view everyone’s progress from week to week and talk about what works and what doesn’t work.

If you are looking for a new activity to try, I highly recommend this one!

Simple things

fur fabric made from animal skin

Have you ever just stopped, even once, in your day to look around at what is simple in your life? It could be a moment of just looking out the window and appreciating nature. It could be a cuddle with your favorite furry friend or even just a moment when you take a deep breath and just appreciate the fact that you are alive.

I must admit that I find this sometimes difficult in our house in the course of a day because things get busy very quickly and there is always something to get done. We have a lot going on with both of our children being on totally different school schedules and with my husband in and out of the house a different times. Each day is different in the activities going on but each day has so many busy moments.

I am really trying to make an effort, especially with each of my kids to enjoy the simple moments with them that the day has to offer. For our son, we usually like to walk our dog together at least once a day and we appreciate nature as we walk along.

With our daughter, it could be a simple conversation or playing a game, but just trying to connect with each of them for a short time has become so very important.

Covid has allowed us more opportunities as a family to be able to connect better on some level each and every day. I think its so important to take advantage of the brief and simple moments that are presented and not waste them.

What simple things do you do in your day?

What about Me? Self Care

self care isn t selfish signage

So, let’s talk about self care. Do you think it is selfish? Do you do it?

Questions, questions, questions……….. I think we all know that it is important.

For any Mom’s out there, it’s difficult for sure. If you are an autism Mom, times that by 1000. That’s right. It’s just that much more difficult when you have children on the spectrum – your time is not your own.

For years, honestly, I did absolutely nothing for myself. At the end of the day, I fell into my bed exhausted just hoping I would get a little sleep before one of them woke up.

The days were long and sometimes the nights were even longer. When our children were younger, my husband sometimes travelled for long periods of time, which left me alone to handle all of the household chores as well as the kids. Coffee was my best friend and sometimes the TV was a good babysitter (yes I said it and we all know that at times it’s what we have to do).

As our kids grew, some of the challenges associated with autism became harder. It was always (and still is) hard to navigate the school system – constantly communicating, constant meetings, constant things they did wrong. It was mentally exhausting every day. To top it all off, add all the therapy as well as specialized learning and professionals trying to help you – people in and out of your house constantly. Was it realistic to think or even want to take care of myself?

In our home, we had therapists in our house for 7 days a week for over three years plus. I had no time for many friends and other social things got pushed to the side.

But what I discovered was that by not taking care of myself, I was not helping my family.

It’s actually only recently (in the last 2 years) when I had health issues and was forced to stop that I even thought about myself and I’m not proud of this. I wish I had paid attention sooner.

Now, my days are quite different. Even though the demands of autism are demanding, every morning before I eat breakfast I get in a short workout. I also have my fitbit so I am conscious about how far I am walking each day. In the winter I will also ride the stationary bike inside and in the warm weather I will go for a bike ride. We have a trampoline in the backyard so I will go on there as much as I can with the kids even in the winter!

I also like to enjoy a nice relaxing bath. By doing these things, I not only feel healthier, I feel more energized because I am looking after my health. If I am not healthy and strong, no one will get taken care of and nothing will get done.

These are some of the lessons that I have painfully learned. But we all know that being an autism parent is anything but easy. It’s a journey, one that takes and pulls us in many different directions, tries our patience and leaves us with very little time to ourselves.

But just remember that you are important. Take care of yourself because your family needs you!

Please feel free to share any of your self-care ideas!

Staying sane during covid

mother and son drawing

No matter who you are or where you live, you are most certainly discovering ways to navigate and stay sane during this covid time.

I know that none of us has ever experienced anything quite like this in our lives and we probably won’t again during our lifetime.

So how do you get through the day? What do you do to stay sane during this time?

Although all in all we have adjusted well and are managing, there are still difficult times and the isolation can be overwhelming. In our house, we do different things.

For my son and I, we are totally outdoors, physical people. So the two of us will take our dog out as much as we can when the weather permits. Sometimes we will go down to the lake and enjoy a nice long peaceful walk which both of us enjoy quite a bit. We also like to go sledding in the winter and be outside riding bikes or playing games when the weather is nicer.

For our daughter, she likes to do any kind of art when she has time and she also likes to play video games. She most often prefers to be indoors rather than outdoors. We also enjoy playing board games together.

I find that for me (and I am sure that most Mom’s will relate) is that there has been an increase in my day-to-day work because there is a lot more home time now. So more food to make, more cleaning to do and it also seems like there is more laundry, although I’m not sure that that makes sense?

For me, I try to find little nooks of time during the day when I can have a cup of tea or just sit quietly. I tend to work out every day for my health so this also really helps my state of mind and keeps me grounded. I also stopped watching so much news as this can be stressful!

Our family is doing the best that we can and some days are better than others.

We all like to do some things together as well we all have our own coping strategies and things we do to just forget sometimes about what is going on in the world. Since covid started we have been spending more time together as a family so that is always a positive in my book.

What are you doing to stay sane?