Monday, July 26, 2010

Summer Update

Well, I finally have some time to update my blog! The last time I was here was in November...where does the time go??! Here is a brief update on what has happened since then:
* Matthew turned 5 years old
* he graduated from developmental delay pre-K
* he is being mainstreamed to typical (general ed) Kindergarten
* and is almost done with his 7 week ABA summer camp.

Matthew has continued his ABA, Occupational, Speech, and bio-medical therapies. He has come such a long way since he was diagnosed at age 2.5. He was dx'ed with "moderate" autism but I believe he is more "mild" now. His speech continues to progress, he movie scripts/hand flaps less often, and he has made three "best friends" at camp.

We have been reviewing his letters, numbers, shapes, colors, etc in preparation for kindergarten and he knows them all. He can also read some sight words and tries to sound out words in books. The area we need to work on most is social skills...communication & eye contact is very good with family members but he needs to improve on these skills with others. I am a little nervous about him going on to typical K b/c I am afraid some of the other kids might make fun of him, but he's a tough cookie and we will work through it....and his OT/ST/ABA therapists can help as well.

Here are some recent pictures of Matthew. He is getting really tall. We have been hitting all the local beaches, museums, and parks this summer. John will deploy soon so we are having as much fun as possible before he leaves for a few months. I hope that you are all enjoying your summer! :)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Matthew's first trip to Disney World!

Here's a montage I made of Matthew's first visit to the Magic Kingdom...he LOVED it and we'll be going back soon! :)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Matthew Update (finally!)

Wow, I can't believe it's been FOUR months since my last post. The summer just flew by! John was deployed and Matthew was busy with summer school, OT, ST, ABA, and therapeutic horse riding lessons. We recently moved from Northern Virginia to Jacksonville, is HOT here! Matthew is in pre-K now (the varying exceptionalities class, not the autism one). He has 1 teacher, 1 assistant, and 12 students in his class. He seems to like his new school and home. He definitely misses the DC metro and train at Burke Lake park, but we took him to the Jax zoo and the beach yesterday (which I think are making up for it.) Ok, time to get back to unpacking!

Monday, May 18, 2009

FUN @ the Fun Fair!

Matthew & I attended the "Chatterbox Fun Fair" on Saturday. It was sponsored by the FCPS' Assistive Technology Services and held at a local elementary school. They had crafts, games, and an appearance by Jimbo the Clown. Matthew had a great time. He LOVED the gigantic moon bounce. Here's a video with the pics.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Attended my 1st DAN conference & loved it!

I was in Atlanta from Thursday til Sunday at the Autism Research Institute's (ARI) Defeat Autism Now (DAN) conference. I am not crazy about that title..I think Heal would be a better word than defeat...but that's another post!

I learned so much about neurotoxins, detoxification methods, diets, our kids' GI tracts and immune systems. I met some of my on-line friends (fellow warrior moms) and saw some of my scientific/medical idols like Dr. Bock, Kartzinel, Jepson, and Wakefield (who is HOT! :)

I want to list the lectures I attended to give you an idea of what ARI/DAN is about and what treatments I am researching/implementing for Matthew. [For those that don't know: we have been doing "bio-med" with the help of our DAN Dr. Megson for 1.5 years and have seen steady improvements. I am a firm believer in the protocol and while it may not recover/"cure" every child, it will certainly heal the yeast/bacteria in their guts (allowing them to focus/learn during school/therapy) and rid their bodies of the harmful neurotoxins they received from their environment (including mercury & aluminum from vaccines). We've been chelating Matthew (with transdermal DMSA) since last summer and the toxic heavy metals continue to takes 2-3 years.]
  • Defending your child from a toxic world (Dr. Freedenfeld)

  • Intro to the DAN treatment approach (Dr. Mumper)

  • The child as a whole: why biomedical & behavioral interventions [ABA] are both critical to growth & recovery (Dr. Granpeesheh)

  • Nourishing our children, Evolving diets for autism (Julie Matthews)

  • Achieving a quality elimination diet & beneficial nutritional supplementation (Dana Laake)

  • The autism-digestion-brain connection (Dr. Lipski)

  • Tools & strategies to survive the diagnosis, & thrive through the recovery of an affected child (Dr. Levinson)

  • Biomedical interventions from A to Zinc (Dr. O'Hara)

  • Mind & Gut: the GI tract & autism (Dr. Hanaway)

  • The ABCs of immunology in ASDs: improving immunity & understanding inflammation (Dr. El-Dahr)

  • Metabolic system in autism (Dr. Jepson)

  • The brain concerns in ASD involve more than the gut-brain connection: neurotransmitters & neuroimmune issues in autism spectrum disorders (Dr. Bradstreet)

  • Chronic fatigue syndrome, autism, and introducing (Dr. Baker)

  • Clinical approaches to detoxification in autism spectrum disorders (Dr. Bock)

  • The road to recovery: walking with patience, peace, & perseverance (Dr. Levinson)

  • T cell regulation, inflammation, & autoimmunity: resolving a chaotic paradox in autistic enterocolitis (Dr. Wakefield)

On Saturday night, I hit the town with Janine & Rebekah...2 moms that I met on-line shortly after Matthew's diagnosis and have kept in touch with on Facebook. It was great to finally meet them in person! :)

Friday, March 20, 2009

Happy Birthday Matthew!!!

Today is Matthew's FOURTH birthday. We are having a party for him tomorrow..invited all his friends from preschool (both autism classes). Here is a video montage of my favorite Matthew pictures taken over the last year. I hope you enjoy it & Happy Spring! :)

Make an on-line slideshow at

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Trip to GA/John's Change of Command

Matthew & I (along with my dad) flew down to Kings Bay, GA on Wednesday for John's Change of Command ceremony/reception. We were there until Saturday and it was a big break in routine for Matthew. Yes, he had some tantrums but had his good moments as well. It was his first time flying. He did better going than coming back...the flight attendant made him turn off his DVD player (he was watching Cars) and buckle up for landing & he didn't aprreciate that!

Here is a video montage I made from the pics we took...hope you enjoy it!

Photo and video editing at

Friday, February 20, 2009

Matthew's Heavy Metals & MTHFR Mutation

Above is a picture of Matthew's Fecal Toxic Metals test results. As you can see he is high in Antimony, Nickel, and Tungsten...and pulling lots of other metals. (Mercury is always the last to come out so it is low here.) I've been getting some good advice from my autism mamas on FaceBook, but if you have any advice please comment! This test was done after his 10th round...a round is 3 days on, every 8 hours of transdermal DMSA (cream applied to his feet, back, shins, thighs, or forearms), then we take 11 days off. Most people say transdermal is ineffective and go for oral, suppository, or IV chelation. Well, in Matthew's case, the transdermal is effective and we are sticking with it. His DAN wrote "incredible pull of metals" on her note..which is great that they're coming out, but not good that they're in his little body to begin with!

His blood tests showed that Matthew has the "double defect in MTHFR" which is a genetic mutation. Per LabCorp: "two copies of the C677T mutation were identified. Results for the A1298C were negative." he has 2 copies of the same mutation (C677T), which means he inherited them from both John & I. I will call my doctor next week to schedule a blood test. I read some of the risks associated with this mutation are: heart disease, blood clots, stroke, etc. Our DAN noted that Matthew will have to be on B6, B12, and folate for life (all of which he is already taking - but B6 in P5P form and follinic acid which is folate broken down). This is not good news, but at least we know he has this and can plan accordingly. (BTW, I specifically asked for this test b/c I had heard it was more common in kids with autism.)