Valerie Foley

Eating the elephant

In Diet, Medical, Supplements on January 19, 2013 at 11:28 am

Eating the elephant

Another good page – info and links.

Biomed is like eating an elephant.

Except the elephant is made of pills, oils and powders.

We tried it when Billy was two and got spooked by spooky doctors (who have subsequently lost their licenses), and saw little progress and hemorrhaged cash for too long. Then a homeopath provoked Billy’s immune system so hard it collapsed.

So we gave it up, thinking it was all a bunch of dangerous hooey.

But it’s not. I promise it’s not. Not all of it.

No more than eating, drinking and sleeping well is a bunch of hooey. It seems like the fun police but it’s not. It’s a roadway to better functioning. Sometimes things work, sometimes they don’t. But that’s like anything in wellness. We’re all different.

Do it carefully, do it safely, do it with your eyes and heart (and wallet) open. Don’t do anything that feels wrong, but if something does feel wrong, do yourself the favour of working out why.

Most importantly, my personal advice would be do not do this alone.

It’s an elephant, and it’s big and once you take one bite, it changes shapes and then it’s hard to know where else to bite.

Find a medical/wellness professional who knows autism and talk to them, without your child first. If you don’t like them, move on and find one you do trust. The internet is not a medical professional. It’s a great support, but it is not reliable enough to guide you completely. It’s just not.

Here’s search engine to find a practitioner in Australia and NZ. I’m sure these people would point you in the right direction if you are in other countries.

The reason I think this is important is because autism is not a medical diagnosis. It is a behavioural one. If the behaviour you experience/see/deal with is troubling or self injurious or dangerous, then it seems nuts to me if you don’t try to do something to ameliorate it.

Also, there’s a lot of stuff that’s become normalised in autism that should not be, in my view – GI issues, food intolerances, sleep disturbance. In an NT person, you’d be asking for help. In an ASD person, doctors go ‘Oh yeah, lots of autistic people have that.’ – end of story. Actually, not end of story, ‘Take this drug.’ Now, end of story. I’m not buying that for a second. It’s like saying, ‘Lots of people who sit down a lot are overweight. If you have to sit down, take this metabolism booster.’

It just seems logical to ask why. Why does my child struggle to poop? Why does my child bite himself or others? Why has my child developed OCD? Seriously, why is why so unexpected?

Behaviour does not exist in a vacuum – it is learned or it comes from a biological basis. That biological basis can often be an imbalance or a malfunction and it may be able to be addressed biomedically. If it’s learned then there’s behavioural therapy (not that I’m a massive fan, but that’s a whole other post).

Despite the whole, ‘if you’ve met one person with autism’ thing, there are too many similarities across the autism spectrum to not learn from the journeys of others. You don’t have to copy them, just learn from them. I quite like this site, but there are a billion others, catering to your belief set.

Knowledge is accumulating.

I, for one, can’t imagine a reason to ignore that knowledge (whether I agree with it or not).

Obviously, if you are happy as a clam with your child’s or your own health and behaviour and you don’t see the need for any change, then ignore this whole post.

You’ll know by now, that I think my son is a cracker of a human being, but I’d be an idiot if I denied the complexity of his challenges – across the board, with ‘autism’ (as it is defined in the DSM) being the smallest of our concerns.

I can’t imagine ever ever giving up the chance for him to have better health and functioning.

And that is why I eat the elephant.

Apologies to all the elephant lovers out there.

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