• 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 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. For the past two and a half years, I have been searching for ways to help our son balance his mind/body with exceptional results. I 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 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.

Other parents told us, “he’s a boy, don’t worry about it, my brother/sister/niece didn’t talk till they were about 4 or 5, now they won’t stop!” this was a typical response from many people and one we felt relieved with, however, 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 parents heart.

I just knew it wasn’t our parenting; maybe it was just a boy thing as my other two children were 13 & 10 and were very affectionate children. I now cringe at my outlook on how I perceived parenting and how children should behave because I saw myself as a perfect parent. I had two girls I could take anywhere, their manners were impeccable, and the comments I received on how well behaved my girls were just showed me how good of a mother I was. If a child played up poorly in public in the past, I would judge and think it’s all the parent’s fault they have no idea 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.

Other things became noticeable when he was at kindy. We found Max did not fit in very well with the other children; he was happy to play on his own & many of the kindergarten teachers could not handle him, so he would be placed outside and left on his own, while the children would play inside. Then Max started to cry as soon as we would turn the corner to the street of his kindergarten, then I knew something was wrong, he wasn’t a sooky kid. I knew it was because he felt he was 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 Max's behaviour started to change and he was turning into such a naughty boy at kindergarden, biting & spitting at other kids, throwing objects at windows to wake the babies up.

It broke our heart to hear Max was becoming so destructive even toward babies, there was a nastiness that was becoming him, and he wasn’t our little boy anymore. He started hating going to this kindergarten, so I only allowed him to go 1 or 2 days a week. I tried other kindies, but when they all met Max they were all of a sudden full or didn’t feel that Max would fit in. We spoke with Max’s 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 needs. Margaret knew as soon as we walked in, she began asking questions and I immediately realised she knew 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 us 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 E.C.D.P. in Hervey Bay. This is when we realised and witnessed first hand, the difference between mainstream 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 E.C.D.P. 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 needing to get at least 20 hrs of this type of schooling a week, (before the 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 to learn I watched the enthusiasm in him he was such a busy child he wasn’t a boy to sit and watch T.V. or play iPad etc…so I looked into A.E.I.O.U.

Unfortunately, A.E.I.O.U. had closed a few years back in Hervey bay which 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 ourselves and help these children.

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

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 gold in our family as without it Max was a nightmare and 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 N.A.E.T practitioner, so I could help treat my son.

Homeopathy was another treatment that I found did help him esp. when he suffered from 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). It’s 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 the level the individual’s 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 was on the right path. I wanted to help Max with the sleeping issue I tested and balanced him and found he had an imbalance in histamine etc. I found that’s what his body was having problems with (balancing those neurotransmitters) & I still can’t believe it to this day; something so simple.

Call it a coincidence but overnight Max 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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