• Tracey Clelland

Max's Story - Managing Autism

"The doctor of the future will give no medicine but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the prevention of disease" Thomas Alva Edison

Autism is a journey I never planned on, but I sure do love my tour guide.

I am a trained N.A.E.T Practitioner/Kinesiologist. The past two and a half years i have been searching on finding ways to help our son balance mind/body with exceptional results. I really took a step back thinking this food/environmental sensitivity treatment is too good to be true!

There is no medication that can cure Autism, unfortunately the medications that are currently in force to curb some of the symptoms have side effects such as constipation, seizures, addiction, anxiety, hallucinations, depression, infections, paranoia, and high blood pressure, to name just a few. This is clearly not the road I wanted our son to travel down!

Max's Story

Its taboo to say that early diagnosis of Autism is a time of mourning but honestly it is impossible to say how a parent may feel when the suspicion starts to creep in that their child might well have a disability. For some parents it's absolutely heartbreaking or for others it's a relief, as they now have an answer and a diagnosis for how their child is behaving. For many more it’s a mixture of the two and that’s where we fitted in.

Deep down we knew there was something not quite right with Master Max, when he was 2 years old we noticed his speech wasn’t developing like his peers.

We were told by other parents "he’s a boy, don’t worry about it my brother/niece he didn’t talk till he was about 4 or 5, now he won’t stop!" This was a common response from many people and one we really felt relieved with. But deep down we still knew something was going on with Max as he had developed other signs.

He wasn’t at all affectionate, on most days now and that truly breaks a mothers heart.

I just knew it wasn’t my parenting, maybe it was just a boy thing as my other 2 children where 13 & 10 and where & are very affectionate children. I cringe now at my outlook at how I perceived parenting and how children should behave because I really saw myself as a perfect mother. I had 2 girls I could take anywhere, their manners where impeccable and the comments I received on how well behaved my girls where, just showed me how good of a mother I was. If a child played up badly in public in the past I would judge and think it's all the parents fault they have no idea on how to bring a child up, I would never let my child do that to me in public. Then I met my wonderful husband and we had a beautiful baby boy he was a surprise from the word go, so as you can imagine our surprise when we believed that Max may have autism and how you as a parent, find it very easy to get stuck in denial & put your head in the sand.

Max had many other behaviours we watched slowly emerge his love and fascination for ceiling fans was to the point obsessed he would also spin around in circles & not get dizzy. He was lucky to get 4-6 hours’ sleep & any chance of escaping to play with drains was an obsession for him so we had to put a pool gate up in our new home for his safety, so he couldn’t get out at 2am and escape while we were asleep.... he really was a Houdini.

There were other things that became noticeable when he was at kindy we found he really did not fit in very well with the other children, he was happy to play on his own & some kindy teachers could not handle him, so he would be placed outside and left on his own, while the children would play inside. Then he started to cry as soon as we would turn the corner to his kindy of his street then I knew something was wrong, he wasn’t a sooky kid. I knew it was his feeling of being rejected who wouldn’t all the kids are inside while he is out on his own he was not a child to cry, he could fall over and cut himself and get right up again without a tear.

We then took max to another kindy and over the weeks the same thing there happened a lot of teachers just didn’t know how to handle him in a class, so he was put outside on his own to play, then his behaviour started to change and he was turning into such a naughty boy at kindy biting & spitting at other kids, throwing objects at windows to wake the babies up.

It broke my heart to hear he was becoming so destructive even towards babies there was a nastiness that was becoming him, and he wasn’t our little boy anymore. He started hating going to this kindy as well, so I only allowed him to go 1 or 2 days a week. I tried other kindies but when they all meet him they were all of a sudden full or didn’t feel that he would fit in. We spoke with the kindy and that’s when they advised us they had seen this all before as they had experienced it firsthand they had children of their own with autism. So, we headed up to see Margaret Holloway in Bundaberg who is amazing with children of special need. Margaret knew as soon as we walked in, she began asking questions and I immediately realised she thought max was autistic. I was very ignorant to autism then and I didn’t realise there was such a huge spectrum or what it really was as every child who has autism is different.

Margaret played alongside Max and then gave us the news we were dreading.

A parent can never prepare themselves for something like this, I looked at my husband and we were both gutted, we walked away like we had been given a death sentence for our son. Even though I was prepared for this news it still hit me very badly. My heart had been broken and I couldn't even bear to tell family and friends.

After struggling on with mainstream kindy for a while, we were lucky to be able to get Max into ECDP in Hervey Bay. This is when we realised and witnessed first hand, the difference between main stream and special education units.

The staff in special education are educated to deal with difficult behaviours, I could see Max was changing he was really enjoying it there, starting to interact with the kids and staff, it was such a joy to watch. I knew then this is where he needed to be in this type of environment.

The only problem was they only have ECDP classes only run 2 days a week and each class only run for two hours a day. As I researched further and started understanding and accepting the path of the way we needed to go, I started to see and understand the importance of having children with autism needed to get at least 20 hrs of this type of schooling a week, before school years, the research was positive and I could see this is what Max needed before he could go to school as they learn differently to us. I knew something had to be done by the time he turned 4 he was so ready willing to learn I watched the enthusiasm in him he was such a busy child he wasn’t a boy to just sit and watch TV or play iPad etc…so I looked into AEIOU.

Unfortunately, AEIOU had closed a few years back in Hervey bay which just didn’t make sense as Autism is increasing at an alarming rate.

Scientist say by 2025 half the children born will suffer with autism in some way. It’s not going to go away, we need to educate and help these children.

A lot of people/practitioners told me the negativities about AEIOU, but I just knew this is what Max needed. Our decision was made he would go to AEIOU, we loved their concept on ABA development it was such a breath of fresh air for him. We made the move to the Gold Coast and were accepted into AEIOU school here.

I am so pleased to say after 10 months of AEIOU work methods, max no longer bites other children or spits, he actually plays with the other kids now and I can’t thank them enough we got our little boy back again, he felt accepted in the group and I will say when I pick Max up they are so welcoming and helpful and nice they just make you feel welcome.

I had the opportunity in Easter to take Max home and I really concentrated on toilet training him over the Easter break as that was something I didn’t think I could ever do for him some kids just don’t on the spectrum, but he did. He did it with flying colours.

Then the next hurdle I focused on was his sleep issues. We were lucky enough our paediatrician prescribed melatonin which was like a gold in our family as without it max wouldn’t sleep.

I knew there was an imbalance in his brain/body. I had recently been introduced to N.A.E.T by another student who was also completing her final kinesiology clinic hours. She tested max and myself and started treating us both on an energy basis using various N.A.E.T vials.

I loved the idea this worked on children with autism as they are so sensitive to treatments, I did my research and saw the stats and was impressed, so I set out to be a practitioner, so I could help treat my son.

Homeopathy was another treatment that I found did help him esp. when he suffered with constipation.

I really took a step back thinking this food sensitivity treatment is too good to be true, so my curiosity got the better of me and it had me delve even further I found our deep-seated sensitivities can take more than one treatment, and the things we crave is generally the body telling us we have an issue with that food (we may not be assimilating it etc). Its our body talking to us. Also, what might help one person may not help another it just shows we are all different our bodies are unique, and we all heal differently, depending on what the level the individuals body needs.

Once I became a practitioner, I tested all my family and also myself, the best one was Max that really sticks in my mind to continue and know that I am on the right path. I wanted to help max with his sleep issue I tested and balanced him for histamine.

I found that’s what his body was having problems in balancing & I still can’t believe something so simple.

Call it a coincidence but overnight he didn’t need the Melatonin. As of today, Max has not had any melatonin and that is nearly 6 months ago (November 2018).

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