On Saturdays throughout the summer we will be presenting, "Generation Rescue Recovery Stories." We hope you enjoy them. Keep the faith and hope, friends. There is much we can do for our beloved children, no matter how old they are.
Presented By Generation Rescue
Mitchell was the smaller of my twin boys born at 36 1/2 weeks. I had a difficult pregnancy mainly complicated by preterm labor and was administered several medications to stop it. I also had a flu vaccine in my second trimester and again while I was nursing my boys when they were 8 months old.
Mitchell was a pretty miserable baby. He cried a lot, arched his back after nursing and had difficulty sleeping. He also developed eczema early on. None of this was alarming to us since this was almost identical to how our completely typical daughter was 2 years before. He seemed a little more fragile than his twin brother but the boys met milestones within days of each other. He learned to roll quickly and could enjoy a full night sleep when he was on his stomach. He was by far my most vocal baby. He could exchange babble with us with perfect eye contact and smiles for long stretches of time. He was very connected to us and loved to be carried around.
He developed his first ear infection at 8 months and went on his first antibiotics. He then received his first flu vaccine at 9 months followed by another ear infection and more antibiotics. While on antibiotics he received his second flu vaccine. Soon our lives would change drastically.
Within a couple of days of his 2nd flu vaccine Mitchell developed a fever of 103.5 and started SCREAMING inconsolably every night for 3 hours straight. He was impossible to hold and would claw at us and arch his back and head. The scream was the most intense high pitched sound I had ever heard coming from a child. We were told that this was because of the ear infections that would now continue for another 6 months straight as well as the intense nighttime screaming. He was on antibiotics during this entire time. I later would discover this was a typical reaction of a vaccine injured child.
He also started to itch himself until he bled. I begged my pediatrician at 12 months to have him allergy tested and he came back with allergies to peanuts, eggs, milk, soy, dust and cats. A few weeks later an allergist told me he was not allergic to milk and soy so he did not need to restrict these in his diet.
I was so consumed with Mitchell's health issues that I did not notice the slip in is development. I realized that my other son was clapping and pointing but thought Mitchell would soon as he studied his hands from many angles (a red flag for autism). Mitchell was entertaining himself now but in strange ways like rubbing his hand over the back of my area rug and pushing buttons repeatedly on his toys. He would spend the majority of his day spinning my cake pans. He never explored toys and did not bring things to us to share. He also stopped using his right hand and therefore could not manipulate anything that required 2 hands. He often would just throw his toys or spin them if he could. He could not understand anything we said to him and had no words.
About a week after his MMR vaccine (and still on antibiotics) , I realized something was very wrong with Mitchell. I researched his symptoms and autism came up on the Internet. By divine intervention, the autism book I pulled off the shelf at the bookstore was Karyn Seroussi's book , "Unraveling the Mystery of Autism and PDD". I read it in 4 days and immediately put Mitchell on the diet cold turkey at 15 1/2 months. Within a week of starting the GFCF diet, Mitchell said his first 3 words, could follow a point, clap, and stack a block. As a side note, Mitchell has not had another ear infection since starting the diet in over 2 1/2 years!
Soon after Mitchell's MMR vaccine his allergies reached a new height. He was breaking out in hives regularly and his stomach became massively bloated. He often would have undigested food in his stool and would at times have burning diarrhea.
Mitchell would start EI services at 15 months for global developmental delays. I took him at 16 months to a developmental pediatrician who diagnosed him with PDD NOS. Thank goodness I started the diet before seeing the doctor or I am sure he would have presented even worse.
We started to see a DAN! Dr when Mitchell was 18 months. We switched to the Specific Carbohydrate Diet to address his severe gut issues, and added many supplements. The supplements had a significant impact on his poor energy level and anxiety issues. Right after Mitchell turned 2, we started on methyl B12 shots. Within 6 months his expressive and receptive language had completely caught up. Despite rigorous food elimination, Mitchell continued to itch constantly which was a distraction in his therapy. He was prescribed Singulair which miraculously stopped the constant itching and allergy "shiners" under his eyes.
We started IV DMPS when Mitchell was 2 1/2. After his first IV, Mitchell returned home a different boy. He stopped opening and shutting doors. His true personality began to show. He was happy and enthusiastic about life. He started more pretend play. We continued with several more IVs and always came back with more social and cognitive gains. We added in HBOT after he turned 3 and he potty trained within the first week. His motor planning skills improved significantly as well as his fine motor skills.
We added Spironolactone (used to treat inflammation) which proved to be one of the final pieces to Mitchell's puzzle of autism. His stools finally became consistently formed and much less frequent (at one time he had 8 a day and now is down to 1-2 a day). He finally after 2 years can eat a couple of complex carbs. Mitchell's remaining OCD behaviors quickly faded after starting Spironolactone. He can play productively when left alone, a HUGE milestone for him. His conversational language and imaginary play are complex and impressive. He engages in interactive play well with peers and his siblings. He can ride a bicycle with training wheels. He is in group gymnastics and swimming lessons and keeps up well.
Mitchell has attended a 3 year old typical preschool this year. They have no knowledge of his developmental history and he has no support. He just had his school conference and the teacher told me Mitchell is the most social child in the class! He loves to talk and the kids really like his dynamic personality. When Mitchell was 3 1/2 we took him back to the Autism Center where he was diagnosed. Following a 2 hour evaluation, it was determined that "Mitchell does not meet the criteria for an autism spectrum diagnosis."
Our hopes and dreams for Mitchell's future have been restored. We are so thankful for all those who have helped us in this journey!
This and other stories of recovery can be found on the Testimonials page at GenerationRescue.