Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Spring Break Saves the Day

Tensions were high at the Damron household:  everyone just plain needed a break.  It has been really nice to slow down and get some things done around the house this week, and to spend some time as a couple and as a family.

We took Hayden out of school yesterday to go to the Children's Museum. He was so excited to get to see Bumblebee.  The museum was super crowded like it always is during a break, but it was still fun.  Hayden really liked the video game area with the original Super Nintendo Mario Brothers game (and he beat level one after only a few tries. That's our boy!)

Unfortunately Hayden was still having some behavior problems as a result of swimming on Sunday.  The pool apparently had a lot of chlorine in it, and we didn't give him Epsom salts that night, though we did give him a bath to rinse off.  At school Monday he was falling down, having trouble concentrating, and hyperactive.  Tuesday at the museum he was having a hard time leaving activities without throwing a tantrum, was throwing himself on the ground when it was time to leave, was stimming (repetitive movements), and was repeating the same phrase over and over. ("Which one do wanna pick?  Can you please tell me?  Please tell me, please tell me!")  These behaviors would have been normal a year ago, but not now. Maybe one or two of these a day, but not all of them all day like he's been doing since Sunday night. Normally we might think he ate wheat or milk, but I'm pretty sure it was the chlorine that did it since it started Sunday night after swimming, so we've been giving him Epsom salts in his bath Monday and Tuesday nights to help his body get rid of it.  I hope he's able to swim this summer, because it's such good exercise and he loves it so much. But if it continues to make him go backwards so much in his behaviors, I think it's better for him not to.  We'll have to see this summer, if we come home right after swimming and immediately give him an Epsom salts bath, if that works.

Regardless of the chlorine issue, Hayden has made huge improvements in the last few weeks.  Immediately following his anti-fungal treatment for the yeast overgrowth, Hayden had regressed in some areas, especially behavior, and we were worried that we shouldn't have done the treatment.  Within a few weeks though, he was suddenly saying new phrases, had improved sentence structure, and better behavior, including more patience.  We think that his body was rebelling against taking all the junk out, and now that it's gone he is much healthier and therefore more verbal. He continues to surprise us and his teachers with new phrases every day.


Several months ago he was too scared to go up to the crocodile, 
and too uncoordinated to manipulate this machine on his own. 

Last Wednesday my Mom, Dad and I went to hear Dr. Houston of Houston enzymes speak at a TACA meeting.  Rylie came and showed off her hair.  Dr. Houston's plane was late from Chicago because of weather, so we didn't get to hear his whole presentation, but it was still interesting, and I learned a few things that I didn't already know. For one thing, Dr. Houston believes that enzymes are just as successful as the diet, in other words, you can skip the GFCF diet and just do enzymes.  This wouldn't work for us yet, as Hayden isn't always consistent in eating his enzymes. We put them in his drink and sometimes he doesn't drink it.  But, it could be a possibility in the future when he's more responsible and more aware of how his diet works, to allow him to eat some favorite foods that contain wheat or milk and don't have very good GFCF replacements (cheese, and chicken fries from BK.)  : )

Jason and I went to the Autism Expo on Saturday.  It was smaller than last year, and most booths were about ABA services, so wasn't as helpful to me as it was last year, but we did get some information about waivers, financial planning for special needs, and other things, and saw several people we knew.  We got to see some therapists from Cornerstone, and watch a new video for Cornerstone that had some footage of Hayden!  He's so cute. We also saw some Cornerstone parents, and TACA parents.  And, we saw my 3rd grade health teacher, Nancy Hobson, whose son Joe was a friend of Jason's in high school, and whose other son Matt is autistic and just wrote a book.  You can read about him here:   Nancy remembered having my brother Bob ("Oh, yes, Bobby Carney!") in third grade.

I'm going to the nutritionist today to see what kinds of improvements can be made to Hayden's diet, look at Rylie's diet if possible (she seems to be doing well on the Alimentum but is more gassy than she was when breastfeeding), and make changes to my nutrition plan after having a baby.

Cornerstone is 'graduating' one of Hayden's friends, and mainstreaming him into typical school in August.  We are so excited for him, and hopeful that Hayden can be the next student to be mainstreamed in another year or two!

Hayden at Cornerstone with his therapist Michelle.

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