Autism has so much vengeance to it; it has so much force.
I went to battle with it because that’s my personality. I’ll take the bull by the horns and wrestle it to the ground. That’s what I tried to do with Autism, which nearly killed me.
I realized that if I was going to SUSTAIN this long, expensive, and challenging Biomed | functional medicine root-cause process and SURVIVE this journey, I could not fight the Autism. It was bigger and more powerful than me.
Life Changing Moment
I decided I had to stop reading about Autism. I had to stop every thought being about the horrific Autism behaviors. I even had to stop hyper-focusing and talking about the underlying medical problems. The Biomed | functional medicine healthcare professionals constantly gave me papers to read. I was trying to learn all these complicated medical concepts and jargon. I was going mad. I was already angry and depressed and managing daily suicidal ideations. I realized if I was going to make it through this, I had to love my son, not fight or make everything about the pathology.
This is the paradox; this is the game-changer that will shift the reality for more families coming behind me of how they will save their families. Are you ready?
Teach Your Child Who They Really Are and Why they Want to Partner with You
It was when I started intentionally parenting and loving my child rather than fixing, trying to stop, or fearing the Autism symptoms that I found a way to connect with him. I began listening and learning from my son’s behaviors. So when my son would scream and tantrum, I would observe him. I would clear the space around him like a seizure. There would be breaks in his outbursts. During these temper tantrum pauses, I would say, “Does your head hurt? Does your stomach hurt?” He would start to look at me, and eventually, he began to nod. He started to communicate with me. He was a child who wouldn’t look at me, talk, or connect.
The more I was present with him, the more I talked to him and let him know, “Okay, I see you; you’re hurting”.
I began to use these tantrums to my benefit and to teach him why we’re eating applesauce thick like mud with so many supplements and why we’re choosing the food that we’re eating. We are healing what is causing the Autism. This pain is Autism. This is not who you are.”
This changed everything. This is how I learned how to partner with my toddler.
I started talking to my child like he understood everything even though he looked like he was in a far, far distant galaxy. I started speaking words of healing in our home, talking about all the great things we are doing and the blessings we have and that we are going to be ok-we know what’s going on-we’ve got this. I started telling my son who he really is, my baby who loves to climb trees, play in the mud, and loved to have fun. Whose smile and squeals of delight were like sunshine. We know the tremendous fear we feel as parents when Autism is present in our home. I tried to imagine the fear my son must feel for feeling so much pain, for only having his behaviors as communication.
This helped me to stop resenting him. Yes, I resented my child and was mad at him for ruining my life. Thank God I woke up. Fear, Regret, Resentment-they rob us blind.
You are Uncovering Yourself and Your Child from Layers of Inflammation, Grossly Derailing their Development, Behavior, Communication, and Quality of Life
I started emphasizing being his mom and working to connect with the boy under the Autism and a joy and happiness not affected by my external circumstances. I had to learn how to influence my circumstances rather than vice versa. I began prioritizing and focusing on creating a healing atmosphere in my home.
With this shift in mindset, I realized my kids were growing up without hearing their mom laugh. So, I started practicing laughing. I remember the first time I practiced laughing; the boys and I were on the trampoline. I began to laugh, and my youngest started to cry. I must have sounded pretty psychotic. I had to bring laughter back into our home. Our home’s atmosphere was so serious and so very depressing.
Looking back, I talked myself into believing we would be okay. I was really lonely, too. I had to become my best companion, my own best coach.
This taught me that I was not healing my child of Autism; I was parenting and healing my son. I created, implemented, sustained, and lived a dynamic family care plan. This was not something I was doing to my child but rather with him. He was teaching me. And I was grateful. I thanked him for the lessons he came to teach. I believe our children are incredibly sensitive and in tune with energy. And the more we make everything about Autism, the more they shrink back and think they’re the problem. Our children are not the problem. Autism isn’t the problem. The problem is our environment has become too toxic for all species to develop, live, and thrive.
The Basis of Positive Psychology is to ask, “How else can we view a person other than through their neurosis and pathologies?”
Every nutrition and lifestyle change and every medical intervention I layered into our family’s care plan was associated with my values of loving my family, having fun, creating partnerships, and feeling empowered to effect miraculous change. I stopped making everything about the pathology and started making my daily thoughts, words, and actions about our values and strengths. Shifting the focus off the Autism, and instead training myself to see my son underneath and talking to that being, loving that person removed so much tension and resistance. I’m not saying it was easy, but I could tell this was my only chance to survive.
“We have to feel well to have fun. And we want to have way more fun.” Kara Ware
You Will Learn a Great Deal About Systems-Biology Medicine, but Don’t Try to Be the Doctor
I chose to master the art of living a low-inflammatory and clean lifestyle rather than learn to be a medical expert. I had to find a medical provider I trusted and then work with that provider to create a reasonable plan. I stayed with providers for at least a year! When working with providers, their recommendations often felt too elaborate and way too overwhelming. My intuition told me to ask what are the priorities. Help me break this down into phases of care, so I feel like I can do all of this. I knew I had to be on the same page with my provider because we were a team, partners.
The more I focused on implementing what I believed in, what made sense to me, and what I felt good about, what I felt like was within my current emotional and financial ability, the more things I found I could do. When I started feeling frustrated, I learned I was trying to do more than I was ready for, and I had to cut myself some slack. I also knew that periods of stabilization, times when I wasn’t adding in any new protocol or lifestyle change, were equally as important as the changes we were making and the protocols we were following. Intuitively, I knew I couldn’t rush this process.
Parents Have the Most Influence to Heal Their Children By Creating A Home Atmosphere Conducive to Healing
I started practicing doing the most minor, most mundane tasks with love and kindness. I believe if I can, right now, weave love into this task, then over time, all of these little moments will accumulate to make big change. And it did. Eighteen years later, I still can’t believe it worked!
Therapists and medical providers give guidance, but they are not the ones who can live a life conducive to healing for you. They cannot create your family’s comprehensive and coordinated care plan that matches your current ability to create consistency and continuity of care. That is up to YOU! And it’s a challenge due to all of the information and treatment options available today. This is why I authored the Hope for Healing Workbook. You need to learn how to layer interventions in a safe and intelligent sequence and stay the course. This means you must develop a self-coaching skill set to effect miraculous change.
“Watch your thoughts, for they become actions. Watch your actions, for they become your words. Watch your words, for they become your habits. Watch your habits, for they become your character. Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.” Lao Tsu
Self-Coaching Teaches You How to Imprint Joy Even Amid Agony and Chaos
We can’t wait until our children are better to begin imprinting joy, laughter, and satisfaction into our beings and homes. The practice is to embed these feelings amid the chaos to affect the chaos. I had to learn to affect my circumstances rather than reacting to or falling victim to my circumstances.
“So much of what we talked about in yesterday’s coaching session spoke to me. I need to focus on her and not her diagnosis. I must parent and love her and not make it all about the Autism. Talk to her like she understands. Let her see me laugh and enjoy life, and that finding happiness and joy leads to recovery. “I feel like I’ve been on a mission since my son was born and since my daughter came home with us to give them every chance to improve and succeed, and I’ve lost sight of what’s important. Thank you so much!”
– Michelle M, Parent
My Guiding Force
I added an element to Lao Tsu’s wisdom—my feelings. I realized to watch my thoughts, observe the feelings that followed, and then mindfully choose the words I spoke. I had to practice reaching for better feeling thoughts, elevating my mood, training my thoughts to speak words of healing over my children and throughout our home, and deepening my spiritual faith. My actions followed. The lifestyle changes were much easier because I wasn’t forcing myself to change MY behaviors to lead by example. Instead, I first focused on my thoughts and feelings; then, I naturally was more open to the following lifestyle changes because I felt good about my actions. Dr. Barbara Fredrickson, Ph.D., refers to this as Broaden and Build Theory.