Thursday, January 31, 2008

Yes, I'm a "Bio-Med Mom"

Today it occured to me that I am in a new club...I'm one of the "bio-med mommies". What does that mean? Well, it's kind of hard to explain in one sentence but I'll try...I took Matthew to a DAN (Defeat Autism Now) doctor (who is a developmental pediatrican) and she ordered lots of tests (blood, urine, stool, hair) to look for underlying health issues, and based on the results of those tests prescribed meds (antifungals for yeast), vitamin/mineral supplements, and suggested the GFCF diet. Some people do not agree with this protocol and think we are needlessly "subjecting" our children to tests and treatments. That seems like a harsh judgment to me. The only tests that are painful for Matthew are the blood draws and we consolidate these to minimize stress. And the treatments are working...I have seen marked improvement since November.

Now, let me take a minute to discuss the controversial DAN docs. There are only about 600 of these physicians in the U.S. and their practices are considered alternative medicine b/c they do treatments that a typical MD does not. And yes, some of them are "quacks" and take advantage of parents desperate to help their children, but I have done my research and have confidence in ours and know of several others that are well-respected.

So, WHY am I a bio-med mom? Beacuse I am willing to try anything (as long as it is not dangerous) to help alleviate his symptoms and give him a better quality of life. There are some bio-med treatments like IV chelation and HBOT that sound scary to me and we will probably not do those. But I can't sit back and NOT try "alternative" treatments (like the diet and supps) b/c I feel that I owe that to Matthew. At the same time we are doing "traditional" therapies such as ABA - both at home and school.


Betsy said...

I feel the same way. I am willing to try things like the diet and anti-fungals, but I have stayed away from other therapies.

I have had doctors and friends with children with autism tell me that I should not be limiting my children's diet. Never mind that they both started talking after starting the diet and that they are both now on grade level. Prior to starting the diet all they ate were Cheerios and cheese all day long. Seems to me that they had already limited their own diets.

I might consider chelation some day, but my children also have an underlying metabolic disorder that makes things tricky. For now, I am sticking with the diet and supplements.


iCan said...

hi. i just wanted to say that while i am not as far into the diet or other biomed treatments, i applaud your dedication to your son. i think it's true that certain things do not work for all children with autism, but i know that aba and an altered diet have truly helped my son.

Molly said...

Great post. :)