our journey of hope and healing through autism

“We read to know we are not alone”

I’ve always love that statement from CS Lewis.  I’ve always turned to books for entertainment and know-how.   For the last decade and a half, most of the books I’ve chosen have been DIY and self-help books.  The past few months, I’ve sought out books to help me cope with this new life that I have.  This journey can be so isolating.  All of my family live so far away, and very few of my friends seem to know what to say, so they don’t ask.  I know that some of my friends are intimidated by Hannah’s challenges.  So, so alone is how I felt during so much of the 10 months Hannah was on the waiting list for evaluation.  Heavenly Father was always there when I reached out to Him, but I longed for more.

I’d avoided reading tons of books about autism, because they can be discouraging and I had enough of that without any outside help.  About two months ago, I picked up a few books that were by parents of kids with autism- what they struggled with, how they coped.   I has been so good for me.  I’d like to share, perhaps a post at a time, what I’ve learned from each of them.

One of the first books that I read was Mother Warriors: A Nation of Parents Healing Austism against all odds, by Jenny MCCarthy

I’d know that Jenny McCarthy was controversial, but didn’t really know why.  As I read this book, I was touched to read story after story of parents who researched and sacrificed to find the money, and through biomedical approaches to treating the underlying health conditions that are a part of autism, their children have improved.  Yes, this book did have intense, angry  language.  Language that I normally wouldn’t keep reading.  But I understood.  I don’t feel angry now, but I have felt angry lots of times over the past year.  That autism hijacked my life, that my daughters daily and future life is not entwined with such a huge challenge.

If good can come out of anger,  I think Jenny McCarthy is doing some of it.  I see why people object to her.  She had money to spend on treatments that few parents of kids with autism have.  She lets emotion talk louder than facts sometimes.  BUT, there are many facts underlying the position she argues for.  She is arguing and fighting for what she believes in, and it’s a cause that I believe in now, too. (Although my approach is different)

After all, why is it that because autism is a neurological problem that most medical doctors see it as untreatable from a medical perspective?  Although my approach in spreading the word is different, I saw my happy engaged child spiral into irritability, then self-harm, and violent tantrums.  She lost her language, her sensory sensitivites became nearly unbearable, and she picked up every little virus that went around.  Now, with the SCD diet the violent tantrums and self-harming are gone.  Her sensory sensitivities are improving.  She’s no longer trending toward a beige diet, but will eat cooked veggies that most kids would scoff at.  She is communicating and engaged with our immediate family.

Yes, autism is a result of the perfect storm of genetics and environment.  It’s a  storm that the medical community can rise to the challenge of understanding, preventing, and treating.  With 1 in 88 children being affected (CDC March 2012), I hope and pray that they will.





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This entry was posted on October 6, 2012 by in books, grieving.
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