Archive for tag: autism

Autism Awareness Month

2013-04-09_autism _ribbonApril is Autism Awareness Month. I have mentioned my son Mykael who was diagnosed with autism 3 years ago and shared his journey with my readers. I have four sons and a daughter. It is more common than people realize that autism will likely impact a second child in the family, especially among boys. My 4-year-old Landen has been diagnosed on the autism spectrum. He is not like my son Mykael; he has very mild case of autism. He has verbal skills. He is able read and write for his age, but he lacks the social skills. In addition, he has an intense interest about all cars and trucks. He was diagnosed with Asperger's a year and half ago. 

Asperger syndrome (AS), also known as Asperger's syndrome or Asperger disorder (AD), is an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) that is characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction, alongside restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior and interests. It differs from other autism spectrum disorders by its relative language and cognitive development. 

I wanted to share more about autism spectrum disorder. As I shared with you in my earlier blog, autism statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identify around 1 in 88 American children as on the autism spectrum--a 10-fold increase in prevalence in 40 years. Careful research shows that this increase is only partly explained by improved diagnosis and awareness. Studies also show that autism is four-five times more common among boys than girls. An estimated 1 out of 54 boys and 1 in 252 girls are diagnosed. ASD affects over 2 million individuals in the U.S. and tens of millions worldwide. Moreover, government autism statistics suggest that prevalence rates have increased 10 to 17% annually in recent years. There is no established explanation for this continuing increase, although improved diagnosis and environmental influences are two reasons often considered.

2013-04-09_autism _speaksMy family lives with autism every day like so many families. I want make sure everyone is aware and has information about how you can get involved in the Autism Speaks Walk of 2013. Autism Speaks Walk will be held in Chicago at Soldier Field on May 18. We need everyone's support and if you still need community service hours to graduate, this is a wonderful community event that is near and dear to my heart. If you need more information please contact me directly or contact us at http://www.autismspeaks.org or 224-567-8573. 

Remember: Every 11 minutes, another family receives the devastating news that their child has an autism spectrum disorder. Don't wait another minute and support the Awareness for Autism!!! 

Thank you for continued support of AOM blog. Good luck on finals and congratulations to our graduates of Spring 2013.

AOM and Autism

"Autism rates in the U.S. risen dramatically 1 in 88 children has some form the autistic disorder." -- CDC World Report, March 2012

Autism derailed the life I once had and seemed to smash my hopes and dreams for Mykael (pronounce Michael). I am a proud Catholic mom. I believe that when God gives you a blessing we must always be thankful. Mykael was born on April 30, 2005. The labor and delivery lasted 20 hours. His long awaited arrival made it the most memorable blessing out of my 5 children.

I began to notice a change in Mykael around 12 months old, shortly after his vaccination shots. He was different from my other two children. He was very reserved and quiet. He did not say much; in fact, I had a hard time getting him engaged in anything. I sort of brushed it off, that maybe Mykael was developing at his own rate.

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I became more concerned around a year and half. Mykael started rocking back and forth and continued to have no interest in anything. At 16 months, I knew something was very wrong with my son. My pediatrician completely dismissed my concerns. My gut was telling me something different. Mykael was in his own world and began isolating himself from the rest of the family. He no longer made eye contact with me. His beautiful brown eyes seemed lifeless like a doll's. I called the pediatrician again and made another appointment. She thought I was crazy, I could hear it in her voice. She saw nothing wrong with Mykael. I knew that I was not crazy. Words of Wisdom: Remember to always follow your gut because it is usually 99.9% right. I changed pediatricians but I was told the same thing.

After relocating  back to the Midwest, a good friend of mine referred me to a progressive pediatrician in Naperville, IL, who confirmed what I had already known deep down inside--that my son was autistic at 3 years old. Mykael was diagnosed with severe autism with ADHD. He was a "classic" case which displayed speech delay, repetitive movements, and increase sensitivity to noise or any environmental changes, flapping of the ears, hyperactivity and increased vocalization sounds when agitated or in a distressed state.

I remember crying for two or three weeks after receiving the news. I became angry. I began blaming myself and my husband.  It was a difficult time for me. I felt a sense of overwhelming hopelessness. I remember I woke up one morning and had decided that I would not let autism control my son's future. It may have derailed it, but it certainly had not destroyed his future.

I began researching Autism. I started contacting various local organizations. I was going to fight this death sentence placed unjustly on my son with prayer and inner strength. I came across an article on acupuncture and herbal medicine. We saw an acupuncturist and herbalist and my doubt, my fears, my despair were lifted that day forward.

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Mykael Case Study:

Mykael therapy started with pediatric tunia focusing on all the meridians for 10-15 minutes. Then acupressure on these points EX-HN1, yintang, PC6, ST36 and LR3. The Sishencong, HT7, KD3 and SP6 for additional 5-10 minutes. The last five minutes light color therapy focusing on the hands and feet meridians.  It is so hard describe in words my son's transformation. He had left his world and re-entered into the here and now sharing with me the same time and space. After third session, Mykael was uttering actual words one-two sentences. His lifeless vacant stares turned into smiling bright eyes filled with life.

Mykael continues his treatments with me at home, and is currently being treated at National's Whole Health Clinic in Lombard for maintenance and herbal treatments. He is taking an herbal dietary supplement, called Chai Hu Long Gu Mu Li Pian. This herbal supplement calms his shen (mind), helps with his anxiousness, focus and sleep disturbances. Mykael is now in the first grade for children who are developmentally delayed and disabled. We still have a long journey ahead still but with acupuncture, herbs, pediatric tui na, speech and occupational therapies in place. I feel we are headed in the right direction. Mykael has made awesome progress developmentally, emotionally and socially at home and also at school. 

Thank you for your continued support of the AOM Blog! A special thanks to my special little guy Mykael!