Why is it the Duck can't get wet?

Under Caroline's umbrella of sensory issues was a gigantic aversion to water.  If so much as a drop got on her or anything she
was close to, she had to dry it off immediately.   I can still hear her screaming “DRY OFF, DRY OFFFFFF!” in my head as I
write this.  While most kids have nightmares about monsters under their bed, hers were undoubtedly about going out in the rain.

Having water as a sensory trigger tends to be a problem when you have a duck that you bring everywhere.  Naturally, kids want
to play with your duck and get this… some of them actually think they should get it wet.  {{EEEEK!}}

At her preschool, of course they had a sensory table.  A table that a child with sensory processing disorder won’t even walk in
the vicinity of… she’d walk the room's perimeter just to avoid having to be within 5 feet of the torture zone.  

One day… you guessed it, there was water and little rubber ducks in the dreaded table.  On that same day, Caroline actually
parted with her large duck and it was resting comfortably in her cubby…. until an envious child grabbed it and made a beeline
for the water table.

When Caroline realized what had happened, her entire universe crumbed and she bolted toward the table….
DRRRRRRYYYYYY OOOOOFFFFF!!!!!  Was heard throughout the building.  Continuing to scream, it was clear that her
sensory system could not even begin to deal with this unforgivable transgression.  

Daily life with Caroline

The water table behavior was not untypical.  Every day there was screaming and intolerance over anything her sensory system
couldn’t handle and any change from the routine.  One day, it was raining, so -- because of course we couldn't get
WET -- I
took her into school on the elevator, instead of the usual outdoor stairs.  Upon our arrival, well, let's just say people in the
building were ready to call for help because they thought someone had broken a body part.  Her inability to regulate herself
was a debilitating part of our lives.

Each day, it felt as if we were building a house of cards.  From the moment she awoke, we carefully placed each card precisely
in the right spot and didn't dare to even breathe in the vicinity of the creation.  If anything out of the ordinary happened or
additional demands were placed, the Casa De Caroline would crumble… spiraling into a complete meltdown… sometimes so
great that rebuilding had to become a goal for another day.

She used to be that way EVERY SINGLE DAY.  But when we changed her diet and added supplements, she began getting
better.  Fast Forward to now and I almost feel as if I’m living someone else’s life when I stop and realize that we no longer have
to worry whether one false move will set her off.

She tolerates changes and we can even close her laptop and say “Computer time, all done” without a 20 minute screaming fit.   
She is much calmer, happier and genuinely more at peace in her own skin.

What became of the Duck?

As she started improving, the duck came with us less often.  He began to reside on a book shelf in her room.  I wondered, from
time to time, if he missed the adventures he used to have.  And then, last night, as Caroline and I were heading up to the bath,
she took off, running into her room... she emerged with the all but forgotten rubber duck and proudly said, “Duck, bath!  Clean
duck!”  And so she did…

Sometimes parents wonder if the improvements these children have are just coincidences and/or simply the result of getting
older.  All I can do is relay that with the supplements and treatments we’ve tried, the results have been unmistakable.  In the
beginning, we too wondered:

  • Was it just a coincidence that when we started mb-12 injections she had a major language surge?  She went from only
    being able to say 1-2 syllable words, with a prompt for each syllable, to being able to use two- 2 syllable words together
    nearly overnight.

  • Was it just a coincidence that within 3 weeks of starting hyperbaric treatments almost all of her social anxiety had slipped

  • Was it just a coincidence that within hours of taking a homeopathic remedy, her eye contact went from barely there to
    that of a typical child?

  • Is it just a coincidence that after each of the 29 weekends of chelation she emerges with new skills that she didn’t have
    the week prior?

As a parent observing these "coincidences" for two years and seeing that when you stop giving a supplement, the very
behaviors it fixed return, you know your child isn’t simply getting better with age.  An easy to see example is that each brief time
we've stopped the mb-12 injections, her language very obviously suffers.

Without biomedical treatments, I can tell you for sure that we would not be EXCITEDLY anticipating her upcoming 5th birthday
party.  Instead of drafting a disaster recovery plan and wondering how to avoid a screaming meltdown, we’re planning who’s
going to videotape her having the time of her life!  

UPDATE, 5/8/12…

If you’re interested in learning more about how biomedical treatments can help your child, you’re the in luck… the AutismOne
conference starts later this month in Lombard, IL.  It's the largest and most comprehensive international autism conference!

150+ of the brightest doctors, researchers, scientists and parents in Autism recovery will be presenting topics that will not only
benefit children with ASD, but ADHD, allergies, other autoimmune disorders, down syndrome and more.  

Plus, it's not just biomed.  There's culinary day, law day and truly something for everyone.

Personally, I can't thank this amazing community enough and I'm honored to be a part of it.  A community that's helping kids
recover, a community that truly cares.   We owe Caroline’s livelihood to the researchers and doctors who have made her
successes possible.  If you can attend the conference, I obviously recommend you do whatever it takes to make it there!

To get an idea of the magnitude of presentations, take a look through the
program guide.

I hope to see or meet you there!  Caroline will be there at least one day, but the duck has taken an early retirement.  
We're happy to report, he won't be quacking in the back row.
May 24, 2011

A Girl and her Duck |  How we know 'biomed' is working
Caroline has a rubber duck.  He's not just any rubber duck.  In her mind, he's as real as the ducks that swim in the nearby
lake -- with one exception -- her duck does NOT GET WET.  

During her 2nd and 3rd years of life, he never left her side and his travels surely made him the envy of all his ducky friends.
Her preschool photo.  
Much to the
chagrin, she would not
set ducky out of the
Of course, the pictures could go on and on... we easily
have thousands of photos of Caroline with her beloved.
He was indeed a very lucky duck.
Here's Caroline post-tantrum...
frantically drying each little
plastic feather.
I watched in amazement and she put the
duck into the tub, helped him swim and
washed him clean.

I wanted to cry *happy tears* as I thought
about how this moment truly signified
how far we’ve come.  

During this week… the week of the
Autism One conference, I’ve been
especially thinking about the biomedical
journey that’s taken place since she
turned three.
Above: The duck, staying up way past his bedtime,
enjoys the 4th of July fireworks.

Below: Happy 3rd Birthday... Quack, Quack.
               UPDATE 11/11/11
         "A New Color for Duck"

Today's craft, painting a rubber ducky.  A project
that not long ago would've been unthinkable.

<--  Yet, look at her now!

Every time we have a sensory victory that involves
a duck, I can't help but think about this blog and
how far we've come.

A girl who formerly wouldn't even paint on paper
and wouldn't let so much as a drop of water touch a
rubber duck, happily painted away!

Wow.  Just wow.
November 11, 2011