I remember the conversation I had with my sister-in-law when it was first brought to my attention that my daughter likely had aspergers. I was so completely blindsided and devastated. I remember watching several episodes of Parenthood after her diagnosis, and just sobbing, as they were going through the very same thing. Getting a diagnosis can be both freeing and overwhelming; for me it was certainly both.
Kids with aspergers suffer with it differently. Some, like my daughter, have bladder/bowel control issues, anger, ticks, constipation, and a tremendous fear of change, to name a few. It took visiting several different specialists, until we finally found a functional medicine practice that could actually help her.
- Gluten and dairy have to go! Not only did I see a big change first hand, but I spoke to therapists who work with kids with autism, who confirmed that it really does make a difference. Since autism is a gut disorder, it really does make sense that foods that cause inflammation, like gluten and dairy, would exacerbate the symptoms. My daughter was more calm, and less likely to fly off the handle at the drop of a hat.
- Using a watch with a preset timer, every 1 -2 hours, can be really beneficial if your child does not feel the urge to go. My daughter is nine, and still has issues with this. She doesn’t get sensation like the rest of us do, and because she is so not self-aware, she has accidents very frequently. I purchased a watch off Amazon that had up to 12 preset timers so that it would go off without me having to constantly nag her to go to the bathroom. It’s really handy when she’s out of the house, and needs a nudge without the embarrassment of someone having to tell her.
- Tumero, probiotics and chiropractics is an absolute must! Together, those three components have healed her gut so much, that she is doing much better socially. Though I’m not sure it will ever totally be “normal”, she interacts with kids, and actually talks when in group settings, without just looking terrified, rocking and wetting herself. They have also aided her in being able to have a bowel movement without laxatives. That is so huge for her, I can’t even begin to tell you.
- Order, structure and having their own space. Children with aspergers love to line up cars, and trains, and tend to function much better in a structured, clean, organized environment. We ended up converting the office into a bedroom for her, so she could have her own space. It helped her to have a safe place to retreat to, and she was so much happier having a clean room (not sharing with her artistically messy sister).
- Speech therapy is worth every cent. Our daughter had speech problems SO bad, we barely understood her the first few years of her life. It was the most frustrating thing to have an angry, frustrated child, who didn’t cope well with things, and couldn’t express herself. Speech therapy is not cheap, but it gave her the confidence to speak and express herself, and for that, I feel like the price is forever worth it. Many states have programs through the public schools, and some private schools bring in therapists. We went through a Christian school, was evaluated at the public school, and ended up using a private therapist.