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Breaking the Vicious Cycle

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On the recovery her son has made after being on SCD for 3 weeks

July 20th, 2002

I cannot begin to tell you how overjoyed I am to be able to write this e-mail. You cannot see my tears of joy, my under-eye circles and headache from making sure I do all of these new dietary and supplemental changes correctly, and the feeling that I have inside which overwhelms me ... success? love? admiration for my child? Oh, yes all of that and then some!

Yesterday, I sat down and did another ATEC score on Chris. I thought to do this because my son said, "What is that?" and "What's it do?" ... Not only is he picking up words (he has now got about 25-30 words, give or take) but he is using a couple full sentences. To look at him, you would hardly be able to believe it's the same child. The ATEC score was 58. His baseline score was 125 on January 26th, followed by a score of 69 about a week ago.
In mathematical thinking, that is a 67 point drop, which takes him out of severe range and into mild range ... In the thinking of being his mother? I have gotten my child back.

Yes, this diet has only been implemented for 3 weeks, and it's rough. No colorings, additives, sugars, starches, preservatives ... No milk ... No wheat .. No rice. His diet is in stages, and it's limited even more so because he is still in the beginning of this process. But, it's helped bring my child back.

Yes, he takes many supplements, multiple times a day. Nu-Thera with P5P, Cod Liver Oil, Vitamin C, Magnesium Glycinate, Enzyme Complete DPP-IV, Melatonin, Zinc ... and Zantac at night for acid reflux. It's a lot, and more is about to be added shortly. But, it's brought my child back.

Three weeks ago, my son didn't use language. He had two words, "Car" and" Go" which he used without reason or meaning. The medical term for what he did is Echolalia. But, I felt blessed to just hear SOMETHING from him besides his shrieks and cries. I had no ideal my child's life was about to be drastically changed for the better ... in fact, I was fairly skeptical about the whole thing, honestly. Thank goodness, I went with my instincts and gave it a go.

The first week of the diet, we saw less aggressive behaviors and by far fewer accounts of him stimming. His eye contact improved greatly, and he would be able to sit for more than a second to attend to a task.

In the second week, he had began picking up words. Car and go remained (and were used in context!) and he added cup, cow, pig, ball, cat, dog, train, tape, CD, T.V., see, Chris, Sarah, Mom, Dad, baby, shoes, eye, ear, nose, mouth, and teeth. He also initiated an embrace for the first time in his life, TWICE in the same day. He still does this, and God knows I want to cry with joy everytime he does.

In this third week, he has picked up even more words ... and I am so pleased to say that I couldn't even begin to list them all out ... lol. He now will ask questions, "What's it do?" or "What is that?" ... as well as when asked," Chris, where is ____ at?" by responding, "Right there!" or "Over there!" He will put my shoes on and say, "See Chris's shoes?!" and will tell me," Chris's CD! (or tape)" to tell me he wants to watch one of his movies. He is following directions very well, and doesn't for once seem "cloudy" when asked to get something or do something ... and will COMPLETE the task he is asked to do! Last night, I made him special cupcakes (really they are muffins, but I thought he might like calling them cupcakes for a special treat for him) and he waited for me to say it twice and then says, "Cupcake! MMMM! Good food!!!" and I laughed. That's my boy!

I would have never imagined my son could come this far so quickly. His sleep is much better, and he no longer has terrible under-eye circles ... he is gaining weight finally, and seems so alert. All of my struggles to do this diet and supplements have more than paid off, that's certain. When he looks into my eyes and asks me something I want to drop to my knees and thank God for that moment ... because I never thought I would hear him speak again, let alone be asking me a question!

I cried for so long and so hard that my child seemed to have been taken in the night ... and replaced with something resembling a zombie of sorts. I wanted to change things so badly, go back and figure out what caused this to happen to him and do it all over the "right" way. I felt such utter despair and heartbreak ... depression. I felt like an utter failure as a parent, and I felt responsible for what happened to him. I felt that I should have KNOWN the cause and kept it from happening to my beautiful baby boy.

I cannot change what happened. I cannot change the fact my son has Autism. He will never be "neurotypical" in it's entirety. He will still have issues in developing friendships, and relationships ... he will always have issues about being in places with lots of people ... his eye contact will never be totally normal ... he will still struggle with being able to tell someone how he feels ... and some other things as well. But, I thank God that he is coming back to me like he is. So what if he doesn't have perfect eye contact?! After I said, "I love you Chris" to my son last night, he responded "love you" and kissed me without being prompted. My heart rejoices, and it's something I never thought possible to hear from my little angel. And, I did cry once again. Not from pain and anguish as before, but
in joy and happiness.

Thank you God, for allowing me to have my son back. I will never take a single word or question he asks for granted. They are themselves gifts from God. Just like my son.

–Sarah Branham

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I was given Elaine Gottschall's book, "Breaking the Vicious Cycle." I stuck with the instructions and within only a few days, much to my amazement, the bleeding and diarrhea stopped! I've been on this diet for 5 months, following it faithfully and feeling wonderful. All symptoms have disappeared! I am a new person with energy as I never had before.
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- Anonymous
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