What would you change?

A friend of mine with a six year old who has autism has recently had a baby. She wants to do things differently this time, she said. The baby is now about 10 months and she is often worried that he may be showing signs of autism. When we get together, she always asks if he’s doing anything that could be an early sign.
I often wonder if I had known my son had autism before his diagnosis at two and a half, what would I have done differently. Of course it goes without saying I would like to do vaccinations differently, but what else?? If at birth he had come with a notice that said – by the way, this child has autism, what would I do?
I think I would have still made sure that his needs were met, that he felt secure and safe, that he was on a schedule, that we played and laughed, that he explored his environment and challenged his senses. So I am left wondering – what would I change?
I think the two biggest things for me are 1) knowing that it might take 1000 attempts to learn one small thing, so never give up and always try to introduce those learning experiences from every angle so they have the most impact, and 2) be patient. I really could have used that one. I had no idea the level of patience I would need to get thru all this. Patient with my son first and fore most, but also with my husband, all our friends and family members, the doctors I have had to educate, the therapists that didn’t seem to get it, the educators that needed more room to learn and with our community at large that doesn’t always understand what it is to be differently abled.
So I ask my friend every time I see her, if he does have autism, right now – what would you change?

Give more hugs,kisses, and smiles

Positive affirmations, building self esteem... You are so smart, I love you soooo much, I know you can do it, things like this make a big difference.....
Keep them around other children in spite of all the frustrations that come along with doing so, it will pay off in the long run.

Things to do right away

Start therapeutic diet right away - For example, I know a child who staved off autism like this and interviewed her mom, Maureen, on Autism One Radio years ago. Maureen started therapeutic diet right away at under 1 year old. At the same time, ensure that nutritional needs are met in other healthful ways; for example, there are nutritional supplements that can be started safely. Of course, individualized testing with an experienced doctor using a good lab can be a plus. A general rule of thumb I ask parents to consider is that if one sibling needs or benefits from therapeutic diet, consider it for the younger sibling as early as possible/healthful. Also, if Junior's metabolics have difficulties with certain things, consider the same interventions or therapeutic diet for Mom.

Start educational/behavioral/play/adjunct therapy right away - The best time to begin special education is before you think your child needs it. All children benefit from sound, cognitively-/socially-enhancing, and humane principles found in today's versions of ABA, VB, Floortime, RDI, Son-Rise, etc. Engage your child in positive ways. Bring in additional family members and helpers, if possible.

Medical oversight and monitoring - Follow a steady course under an experienced Defeat Autism Now! or other doctor who knows the real underlying physiological issues behind an "autism" diagnosis (label), has experience and keeps up-to-date in safe and efficacious treatments, and performs any necessary regular laboratory medical monitoring with reputable labs.

Stay positive - Believe that your child can improve, visualize your child's improvement. Junior benefits when Mom and Dad are happy and relaxed.

Stay healthy - The parents and children benefit when Mom and Dad are healthy.

Be an active advocate - Don't assume that the child can go to school and everything is fine on auto-pilot. Be an active advocate for your child, being as friendly as possible, but staying involved and not being afraid to ask for what will be best.

Books - A few starters:
Dr. Bryan Jepson - Changing the Course of Autism
Dr. Jaquelyn McCandless - Children with Starving Brains, 2nd Ed.
Julie Matthews, CNC - Nourishing Hope, 2nd Ed.
Drs. Baker/Pangborn - Autism: Effective Biomedical Treatments

The #1 thing that I would have done differently, of course, is to puncture my tires before going to the maternity ward or pediatrician's office where my son was given vaccines. Looking at both outward manifestations and objective laboratory and other diagnostic testing, I can say that my son would be much healthier and function much better today if I would have not trusted and allowed administration of the vaccines given in the maternity ward and pediatrician's office. Therefore, I would hope that new and veteran parents would do/continue to do thorough research on vaccine components and mechanisms of action before considering further vaccine administration to a child, especially one who is metabolically vulnerable or who already has an autism spectrum diagnosis, including ADD and ADHD.