Friday, November 27, 2009

Random autism thoughts

Thanksgiving Day (yesterday) was busy because we did double-duty: Mom's house at 1pm, and the in-law's house at 6pm. The kids did rather well at both places despite having so many different people around, lots of noise. Nikko was happy to investigate other people's plates at Mom's house, looking for their dessert. I had made some chocolate chip cookie bars that were Ronin-friendly, and Nikko gravitated toward that a lot. At the in-law's house, Nikko seemed interested in exploring their treadmill and stationary bike than playing with any of the toys in the basement. I think they enjoy the living room because it is wall-to-wall carpeting where they can run and tumble on the floor without getting hurt.

I didn't take advantage of Black Friday because I didn't have anything specific to hunt for. Definitely wanted to avoid the crowded malls, and absolutely wouldn't be able to navigate it with kids in tow. Denis had to run some errands after lunch and opted to take Nikko with him. I advised him to take along some Dum Dum lollipops just in case. I know he wanted to try to have a normal outing without giving in to anything, but I told Denis that Nikko will probably get agitated at some point and if he wanted to get something accomplished, it would be better to bring the Dum Dums than not have anything on hand at all. He told me later on that he did end up giving Nikko a Dum Dum, and when Nikko finished it he was patting down Denis' coat looking for more. I'm still at odds about having just-in-case food during outings vs. not having anything on hand. That one online post a lady wrote back to me, when I made an inquiry about behavior in the store, really made me feel guilty. She said that it was my fault that Nikko cries and tantrums for a treat because I taught him that if he tantrums, he'll get something. That sounded harsh, but there's probably some truth to that because I don't want Nikko to burst out and make a scene. But the other thing this lady said was that I had a choice: Do I want Nikko to function like everyone else in society, even though it will be hard, or do I want to keep him quiet for the short term, which is easy for now? Sounds like a baited question, but it made me think, and am still thinking about it.

Another thing that was on my mind lately was the two stories this past week in the Chicago Tribune regarding autism. They covered two kinds of biomedical-related therapies, which were chelation (removing harmful metals from the body) and hyperbaric oxygen therapy. The article was obviously biased and against these therapies, but pointed out some reasons why many families with autistic kids go these routes even though pediatricians tell them not to because there's no scientific proof that they work. A big reason is that right now there's no cure for autism, and many people don't want to wait 10-20 years for some breakthrough research to find a cure. These kids need help NOW, and if there is something that comes along promising to aid/cure autism, people are willing to try it. Parents are desperate. They want their child to get better. I can relate to this because a few months ago I read some forum postings from a lady who said she tried a vitamin called dimethylglycine on her non-verbal child and the next day he was talking and continued to talk. Of course, hearing news like that makes me start wondering if it would work on Nikko. I researched it a little bit and almost went further but then realized that without knowing how much of it to give to Nikko, I could overdose him. Tricky business, without proper guidance. But what is proper guidance nowadays? Ah, the way these thoughts swirl in my head.

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