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Never say never!

Nathan missed out on a lot of creeping and crawling because of an oxygen deprivation at birth that resulted to Cerebral Palsy (CP). CP limits his ability to move his legs.
I didn’t understand how much creeping and crawling is related to brain development. Furthermore, our therapist focused on getting him to walk at that time. But the good news is, we can creep and crawl today to make up for what our brains missed out on developing.

I am prepared for Nathan creeping and crawling for much longer than other kids who enrol at Brainhighways.com, because of his cerebral palsy. While other kids creeping pattern have been maturing, and thus integrating their baby brains, Nathan is still at the very early stages of creeping. He’s pulling his whole body as a single unit (see left of photo) instead of looking like a lizard with well coordinated opposite leg and arm movements. Well, until yesterday when he lifted one knee to kick!!! (See right if photo) Woohoo!!! 

After waiting for his first kick after about 4 months of creeping, I was just thinking: While doctors have dismissed any possible development from an oxygen-deprived-brain-injury, Nathan just recreated a new brain circuit that allowed him to make a movement that he as never made before!  

Never say never! Nathan will be able to do so much more than his early prognoses. He already has! 

 

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It’s amazing how Amor’s social skills has blossomed and now she is actually reaching out to her classmates. Here’s what her teacher wrote:
“Amor sat with David (I changed his name) today at play doh time and she got him to play with her even though he was into building blocks. She offered to share some of her play doh and she said a couple of things about what shapes she was making.”

When Amor was younger and her NT peers would talk to her, she would simply be quiet or walk away. I know she wanted to, but was simply unable to have a meaningful interaction. With hearing sensitivity and speech delay, it must have been hard for Amor to work on her social skills.  

But things are changing, thanks to her Son-Rise Program, which helps her not only learn, but to also to LOVE to interact with people. 
Much of Amors social skills development is thanks to her Papa who dedicates his weekends running her Son-Rise Program. And thanks to all her Son-Rise Volunteers, past and present, who have come with no expectations, to love her for who she is. They deeply engage with her, in activities that motivate her. Amor holds meaningful conversations with her Son-Rise Volunteers in her playroom. I’m happy that she is now bringing out that skill to “the world out there”. Recovery here she comes!

Life is a blessing!

In the photo is me and my princess Amor on our way home from school and our library trip.

  

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Keeping healthy 

We stayed at sister’s place in Virginia for almost the whole month of July. This place helped me realise that everything I do to help my kids heal autism, goes a long.
The whole month in the countryside Nathan slept through that night. That is not common. Nathan still gets waking spelling with either laugh, or cry, or agitation.
While we were there, at bedtimes I would have such amazing “conversations” with Nathan. I would ask him questions or ask him which songs to sing duet with me. He would keep fully engaged with me for a solid 30 minutes. It was as if there was no distractions, nothing bothering him at all. He was fully with me.

My NT, Ian has eczema. It was finally getting better with the alternative treatments in Singapore, but it was in our holidays when I finally felt confident it was healing. I was confident enough to stop his anti-histamines. But guess what, we are back in Singapore and his rashes are acting out again 😒.

My sister’s place was practically in the middle of the forest. The air was clean. Chlorine-free and flouride-free water was from their well. We got organic food and most meats were free-range, hormone-free. There was only one source of wifi.  

In Singapore, there is construction and dust everywhere you turn. Humid air brings alot of molds. Sure enough, Nathan was sneezing again when we got back to Singapore despite our frequently cleansed air-conditioning.  

There must be other offenders. We are probably so accustomed to gasoline emissions, yet our kids work hard to detox all that. Plus there is weekly fumigation for mosquitoes. So much for all the organic foods we eat, when we inhale pesticides directly.

Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) and wifi is everywhere in this city. Even if we turn off our router at night, we will still get bombarded by wifi from our neighbours upstairs, downstairs, left and right. Not to mention EMF from home circuits and the giant satellites generously distributed all over the country.  

Many people probably don’t even know they are bothered by EMF but this is really my super Ian’s kryptonite. Almost as soon as we settled back in Singapore and Ian gets a nose bleed again…and again…and again. I have practically correlated his nose bleeds with the number of hours he spends on the computer or using the iPhone for games. I’m sure this compounds his eczema problem. Not once did he have a nose bleed in the only-one-wifi-source, no-iPhones-while-on-holiday, almost-dead-cell-spot, country-side of Virginia.

It was a fantastic and healthy vacation and I miss my sister and family already. But we’re moving forward towards healing, knowing that all the health interventions we do to keep my kid’s environment and food clean, really works and heals the body and mind.
  
 

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Nathan is more expressive 

Since we started our Son-Rise Program in 2011, Nathan quickly reconnected with his father. We could tell how much he wanted to be with Papa by the sparkle in his eyes whenever Papa walked into the door. Or we could see the excitement in his face, whenever Nathan invited Papa to give him a piggy-back rides or to blow fart-kisses on his tummy. That was a totally different image of Nathan who always chose to be alone, before our Son-Rise Program.
But this past week has been super amazing! Nathan is insisting and verbalising how much he really really wants to be with Papa.

When he wakes-up he, walks around the house, opening all the bedroom and bathroom doors, calling out for Papa. When I bathe him he asks that Papa bathe him. When he sees me holding my phone he politely asks, “I want to call Papa.” When I’m playing with him he asks for Papa (oh well, I can settle for being second favourite). At the dinner table, Nathan insists on sitting on Papa’s lap. When I help him to bed he asks, “I want Papa”. When Papa lays next to him, Nathan readily engages with bedtime songs. When Papa tucks him in and is about to will leave the room, Nathan grabs his hand to stay, and says, “No”.

When Nathan asks for Papa during the day, I wish I could push the time so evening arrives and so does Nathan’s most favourite person in the world!

Imagine that. And in 2010, I was crying every day, scared of his future and wondering why Nathan became so disconnected to the world and oblivious to even his own father. I was praying for a miracle…and miracles came…There are good days ahead of us!

  

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Open letter to all of my kid’s Doctors, Neurologist and Specialists.

Open letter to all of my kid’s Doctors, Neurologist and Specialists.
To Nathan’s early Neurologists, Remember when you caught Nathan’s glance and you heard his speech? With each check up you saw his progress, from words to phrases to full sentences. You agreed that Nathan was reaching speech milestones. Remember when you said that you wouldn’t worry about learning disabilities/autism, even if he was premature and has cerebral palsy (limited ability to move his legs) because he had good eye-contact and his writing/scribbling on paper was impressive at age 2? …everything changed when Nathan regressed deep into autism.

To the Public Health Doctor who was scheduled to give Amor her 4th-month shots, You noticed Amor’s hypertonic muscles and recommended to delay her vaccines. Thank you! I wish I had the sense back then, to ask what was your intuition telling you. I’m sure I would have picked-up good information. But I was a first-time Mom, just doing what everyone else was doing and never questioning the system.

To the Doctor who gave Nathan his first flu shot when he was about 1 1/2years old, You gave it around it Measles & Rubella shot! I want you to know that it was the winter after those shots that we observed Nathan’s spelling game interrupted by a seizure-like jerk followed by 10 seconds of lost attention. In time those jerks became more frequent and the lost attention became longer and longer. Regression continued slowly. In a year or two, all that remained was lost attention and zero interactive attention span.  

To the Paediatricians who gave Nathan several vaccines on top of what was legally required, Remember when I asked you if Nathan’s prematurity and cerebral palsy had any bearing and you all said “No”. I trusted your experience and agreed to all the added vaccines.  

Though I was vaguely aware that there was a #VaccineAutismLink, I was quite confident that Nathan would not get hit. By that time (age 2 1/2), Nathan was speaking in full, clear sentences and even had genius spelling recognition. But that year of continuous vaccinations coincided with loss of Nathan’s ability to speak sentences, he lost meaningful words, be became echolalic (parrots words), he even regressed further and even lost echolalia, he began to string unrelated words into meaningless phrases. He lost his ability to sing the words and the melody of nursery rhymes. His beautiful nursery rhymes turned into wordless chanting. In about 2 years of regression, Nathan became severely autistic. I gave Nathan every vaccine you recommended even those that which were created for military use in adults combatting in foreign lands. Why did they transform those into childhood vaccinations and why did you miss out on giving me that important information?

To the Developmental Neurologist whom I asked if I should be concerned that Nathan did not sweat at all, you said it had no bearing. But sweat is one of the body’s most important detox pathways? Surely if one pathway was blocked, how could he detox all those vaccines and the compounded burden post vaccination? That important information could have made me think twice about Nathan not being a suitable candidate for vaccinations.

To the well-known Autism Doctor whom I asked if Nathan’s chronic constipation had any bearing on his autism, you said it was not related. Ask any autism parent and you will have a survey of kids with all sorts of digestion complications. Vaccines, antibiotics and other medications affect the gut. The gut is what nourishes the body and brain of a developing baby. I was unable to address Nathan’s chronic constipation for years trusting your expertise. Many parents who start addressing digestive issues early, through diet and other interventions, have reversed many symptoms of autism. Autism is not only in the brain. The brain is not a separate unit but is supported by the whole body, especially the gut that processes the food for nourishment.

Some parents don’t see #RegressiveAutism and are made to believe their kids were born autistic. But they are not reminded that their babies were vaccinated at birth with Hep B vaccine. Not to mention the medley of vaccine that follow. Hepatitis B attacks the liver. A baby’s liver is not fully functional at birth (that’s why some babies suffer from jaundice), yet they are injected with vaccines that their liver needs to detox. This detox pathway then becomes hampered in a very critical age when baby’s brains develops the fastest…or in that case, isn’t given the opportunity to develop.

#HepB is also the most useless vaccine. The disease is only passed through blood/needles so babies have very very very low risk of getting it unless their parents have Hepatitis B. Yet many countries require it at birth! A better option would be to screen parents and give the vaccine to only the children who need it. HepB should not be mandated. Too many babies are suffering from liver disease post vaccine.

To all the Doctors,

I did not write this to put blame on you. I know you were doing your best with what was at that time, the “best” information in your hands. I simply want to add observation to your wealth of observations. I know you get to see your clients while they are with Pediatrics, it would be good to follow-up through they years, especially those who observed regressive autism. Maybe knowing their stories will help you come up with decisions that will better help your future children patients. 

Like many parents in autism communities, I have heard of many similar stories. My friend’s children were vaccinated, got sick then lost eye-contact immediately after. There are also many like my son Nathan, who reached his milestones, but slowly regressed after a series of vaccines. Babies who were once vibrant and healthy became immuno-compromised, coinciding with regression to autism. Don’t dismiss the testimonies of these parents, you are co-responsible for the health and even socio-economic implications of generations to come. More children are regressing into autism at epidemic proportions. Societies at present already have challenges supporting its aging population, what more of the working population itself, become predominantly special-needs?

To all the parents, trust your intuition! Ask your Doctors if vaccines are absolutely necessary. BCG, for example only offers 40% protection. All my vaccinated kids still got diagnosed (or misdiagnosed, and that’s a whole different story) with primary complex (childhood form of tuberculosis). The flu shot only gives you 50% protection. You can get flu shot A and still end up sick in bed with the flu virus B. Why are we being made to buy something that does not guarantee full protection? 

Some countries, like the U.S. has a “vaccine court” which uses taxpayer’s money (not the vaccine developer’s) to persons who belong to the minute populate that vaccines GUARANTEE to injure in order to protect the rest of the population. Your country might not have that system. Yet it mandates vaccination and screws you if you end up sick, with what is written in the vaccine drug description after the lines “in extremely rare cases causes….”

If you really want to vaccinate your kids, wait until they are walking, talking and at the age when there is an increase likelihood of being in public places like schooling age. I still say kids are much healthier unvaccinated. I hear parents proudly saying their kids are on schedule with vaccination yet they have frequent colds and are always sick.

Even if you don’t have a child with autism…If your child has allergies, asthma, eczema or ADHD, when no body else in the family line has it, or when your child’s condition is so much worse compared to the parent’s mild symptoms, consider looking into the vaccine link of those diseases to help you find permanent solutions and bring your kids to better health.

I am just one story, but you will find many parents with children who regressed into autism. 

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Spontaneous comments

Wow, Nathan has been spontaneously commenting recently.
Nathan: Ate Juliet, I want muffins.

Juliet: The muffins are still cooking.

Nathan: The muffins inside the oven.

“Making spontaneous comments” a step above “using language to make needs met”. Woohoo! We are climbing up The Son-Rise Social Developmental Model!
In the photo is our GAPS-friendly muffins, which Nathan was waiting for.  

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Conversations here we come!

I had the most amazing conversation with Nathan today! We were doing our usual question-answer dance where he would accurately answer my “yes or no” or “Do you…” questions.
But this time, I left more open-ended questions like, “(in our vacation) what was Lola Elvie doing?” He accurately answered “sweeping the floor.” I asked if he remembered the goats in Tita Fevi’s house, then challenged him further by asking their colours. He accurately recalled the colours of the 2 goats: brown and white. He remembered 3 out of 4 names of the dogs. He remembered we got there by plane! Before we ended our 30-minute conversation, Nathan reminded me, “Do you remember the tractor? I remember the tractor!” Like as if he was saying, “Don’t forget the tractor, that was my favourite ride!”  
Nathan’s conversation skills has been evolving for quite some time now….well, a long long time now. 

First it felt like I was part of his verbal stiming, which I was happily encouraged. I would ask him questions and he would use it as a opportunity to practice restructuring the sentence to give me the correct answer. Example, I would say “Do you remember Crystal?” Nathan would accurately answer, “I remember Crystal.” But I would be unsure if his answer was how he really felt or his priority was to return the answer to me in perfect answer-form, which he did so amazingly! And that was fine with me!

In time, it became less of a stim and more intentionally answering. I could see him processing his thoughts and if he really didn’t remember a person, he would stop and not echo back in answer-form. He was giving me more accurate, processed thoughts.
Today he gave me more! He gave me so much more information than I was asking for! Conversations with Nathan, here we come! Praying for continued progress.

I didn’t run off to try to capture a video. I knew that would ruin the amazing conversation we were having. But I did grab my phone after and try to get him to sing a duet with me…one of my favourite things to do with him. Here it is. 

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Creep and crawl challenge

We are adding a new intervention, BrainHighways. This helps integrate primitive reflexes so that the big brain will be more dominant. The big brain (Cortex) is responsible for advance skills like speech and social interaction, but is overpowered by the baby brain (midbrain and pons) if the baby brain was not integrated. The baby brain matures, or is integrated, when baby creeps and crawls. Nathan missed out on much of these on because of his cerebral palsy (limited ability to move his limbs). We were also in a hurry to get him to walk, not knowing how important creeping and crawling was to brain development. But anyways, we’re making up for the lost creeping and crawling time.
As a result of hours and hours of creeping floor time, I’ve notice Nathan’s ability to answer my questions or respond to my commands have shortened.
I realised how challenging it is to ask Nathan to do something super hard for him. My fears and frustration crept in again. I was crying all over again wondering how I could get Nathan to do, and like, exercises that I know will change his life. Maybe as a direct response to my frustrations, Nathan started hating creeping and crawling. He started to bang his head on the floor as a violent protest and be excused from the exercises. Even I wanted to stop the program. But I know I would hate myself for not continuing with one of the few programs that have great results for children and adults with special needs.  

In have been blessed with The Son-Rise Program(r), which helped my find my way out of this dilemma. These are the changes I made:

1. Change my belief that the exercise was hard for Nathan and it was hard for me to motivate him.  

2. Let go of the times when he does not want to exercise….until the next invitation to creep again.

3. Think of each exercise as an investment for tomorrow’s exercise, instead of a task that just has to be done today. During the exercises allowed him to rest, to make his mind drift and return before asking him to move again. In other words I allowed him to simply enjoy the exercise and not be pressured to do it. I used to pull and tug him to get his creeping laps done until the 30minute time was up. That led to so much resistance, eventually whining/crying and then head banging.

4. Be present with every creep or crawl. I tuned in with my attitude of enjoying the songs I sang while creeping and crawling, instead of constantly looking at the clock asking “when will this finally be over?”

5. And of course, I said my prayers whenever I was emotional too weak to keep trying. Those really have the best results!

Amor, by they way, also benefits from BH, but really enjoys it and even asks me to creep and crawl with her. 

In the photo: L to R: Amor, Ian and Nathan creeping to build their Brainhighways.
https://brainhighways.com
  

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Good morning 

Nathan gets his morning dose of piggy-back rides before Papa goes to work.
I always say this but…this is such a beautiful daily occurrence because in the years that Nathan regressed deep into autism (starting age 3), he became oblivious to people around and even his own father. It was as if Papa was never in the room. Those days Nathan could stay in a corner all day, putting objects in his mouth and never looking at anyone. We didn’t even know if her knew Mama or Papa. Only Son-Rise helped us to “reach him” again.