A Father On Autism Regression and the Road To Recovery (Paved with Love)
October 20, 2004 was the day my son came into my life. Holding him in the parkade of the hospital, I vowed to give him the life he deserves and to teach him what he needs to know to make this happen. Little did I know at the time, he would teach me more about life, love, and compassion than I could ever have hoped to teach him. All this in the five short years he’s been in my life.
His development was normal at first; he met all his markers. The only thing was that he often got low-grade fevers that intensified and grew longer in duration as he got older. He was at the end of another cold and feverish spell when I took him in for his 12-month well visit. His pediatrician assured us that despite his illness, it was still okay to give him his MMR, Hib, Varicella, and his first flu shot. A few weeks later, he got his flu shot booster. A few weeks after this (Christmas Eve) his fever spiked to over 103, but the on-call pediatrician told us to monitor his temperature for at least another 24 hours. On Christmas Day, he was so sick, flushed, and hot that we rushed him to the emergency room, where his temperature was between 105 and 106. A chest x-ray revealed a very severe case of pneumonia. The ER doctor said that if we would have waited much longer, his chances to make it would not have been so good.
After his pneumonia is what I call “the big switch.” His development came to a screeching halt, and he lost most of the vocabulary he once had. At one year of age, he had about 10 words, and when he was evaluated at age two, he had regressed to two words, used infrequently at best. He quit showing interest in his peers and, more importantly, me and my wife. Looking back on video footage, this was when he started toe walking, hand flapping, and he became increasingly repetitive in everything he did.
This is when I came across Defeat Autism Now! and their list of physicians who use a biomedical protocol. It would forever change my son’s life. The long drives didn’t matter; the money didn’t matter. It was something I had to do for my son’s sake. I loved him far too much to give him any less. What happened over the next 2 ½ years is nothing short of a miracle.
As any parent treating an autistic child with a biomedical protocol knows, it’s a never-ending line of supplements, medicines, and homeopathics given in every imaginable way, and my son was no different. The amazing thing about him is that he hasn’t complained about any of it; he takes it as though he somehow knows it is helping him recover. There was one homeopathic in particular he was taking for a gut issue. Right after he took it for the first time, he immediately went to the bathroom and threw it up. The next night, he was at the kitchen counter, asking for it again. He took it again and almost threw it up, but he fought to keep it down. This is just one example about how he’s never complained about the supplements, medicines, or countless hours in various therapies. This is almost as exciting and amazing of the recovery that started to take place.
At my son’s initial speech therapy evaluation, he scored in the 5th percentile for expressive and the 1st (as low as one can get) percentile for receptive speech. After all his determination, fortitude, and never give up attitude, his expressive speech is less than eight months behind, and his receptive speech came back as “age appropriate.”
During his very first IEP meeting (before we started biomedically treating him), I asked for his long-term goal to be by the time he was six, he would be in a regular kindergarten class. He still wasn’t very verbal at the time, and his interests were extremely restricted. His teacher looked at him with skepticism while I looked at him with hope. She looked back at me and said that with any luck, he would make it into an alternative kindergarten class with full-time adult support. She was also skeptical about the biomedical we were talking about starting. She said there was a lot of false hope out there and that she didn’t want us to get our hopes up. She also added that there was no cure for autism. What she didn’t know was that my hopes couldn’t get any higher, and I demanded to keep my version of the long-term goal.
At his IEP meeting to phase him out of the early childhood program, we all came to the conclusion that he would be going into a regular kindergarten class. The question we all asked wasn’t how much adult support he would need; it was whether or not he would need any adult support at all on most days. This came from the same teacher who showed such skepticism when she first met him. But he made a believer out of her; he made a believer out of me; he is making a believer out of a world that has so much against autistic children who want not much more than just to be accepted among their peers.
I feel so lucky and blessed to be his father and to witness such a miracle. Seeing him recovering from autism is a blessing I never had thought possible, but he has opened my eyes to something more beautiful than I have ever seen. I am supposed to be the one who teaches my son everything he needs to know, but it’s quite the opposite. In the five short years he’s been in my life, he has shown me everything I need to know to be a loving and compassionate person, and he did it with a so-called “disability.”
My name is Cody Jordan, and I am the father of a 5 ½ year old autistic boy named Harrison. We live in the Midwest with his younger brother (Isaac) and mother (Jolene). If there are a few word that Harrison exemplifies, they are strength, determination, fortitude, sheer will to overcome, and most importantly, love. Harrison truly is a “Child Warrior.”
when one thinks about conditions w/a regressive component ie asd, alz, chemobrain, schizophrenia,..etc ,they have VERY different underlying mechanisms, but the commonality they share is over-active microglia. over-active microglia is VERY not good for synapses. When one looks at things /interventions parents have tried on their asd kids that they say have really helped , and then look to see what effects those agents have on microglia , most of the agents decreased microglial activation. Few studies out there looking at how disrupted gut micorobiome can increase microglia activation , so then interesting that some study shows that gluten free diet decreases microglial activation. Well lot of things out there to decrease microglial activation. yes Folks with asd have issues with mitochondria complex I and II (read where their complex I and II kinda act like those of obligate carnivores-ie REQUIRE certain amino acids) , and slower PDH in the glycolosis cycle, and many have mthfr mutations , heavy metal excretion issues,etc etc(already solutions for all that stuff )..,
but it all makes one suspect that doing things to decrease brain microglial activity back towards normal would be helpful from a brain standpoint. bunch of refs on pubmed relating to this stuff. should not be lost on one that bisphenol A readily crosses the placenta and in the animal studies increased microglial activation in the brain (not good..well bpa is in everything including shampoo and lotions ), and one can imagine aggressive vaccine schedule affecting microglial acitvation.)
may be i am not thinking straight, but just seems like doing things one can to NORMALIZE BRAIN microglial activation in asd folks might help ....and then adding common stuff to help with synaptogenesis and stuff to increase the complexity of the newly formed synapses would also help.
--just trying too be helpful.
Posted by: jab | April 17, 2017 at 12:41 PM
This story is a reminder about the mercury-laden flu shot and how dangerous it is for young children--any child for that matter, not to mention adults as well.
Sadly, a loved one is currently showing signs of regression at age 9.
Posted by: Dana | October 09, 2013 at 11:09 AM
A lovely tale here! A shout out to all my spectrumite brothers and sisters! I don't know that I can call myself a child warriar anymore. I'm age 25 now. I am certainly a warriar for my fellows with AS!
And the sword has always been highly symbolic for me. I put it down for no man! I have found that my fellows are some of the most resilient, strong, wonderful people in all the world! When we stop fighting we die!
So let us soldier on my brothers and sisters! Lets make this world get whiplash from turning it's head as we make it take notice of us and what is really going on!!
I raise my sword in salute to my fellows and the parents who will never give up on us!
Posted by: Theodora Trudorn | October 25, 2010 at 11:28 AM
To say Shannon Rosa is clueless is putting it mildly. So obviously bitter because her son didn't improve on her half assed attempt at a diet years ago. She's also buddies with Kristina Chew. The dumber leading the dumber....need we say more!
Posted by: SP | August 15, 2010 at 05:10 PM
@ Mollie -
Shannon Rosa says dumber things than that. Here's my favorite, "As for those whose autism doesn't qualify as chromosomal or inherited -- I don't believe vaccines cause autism, but I wouldn't be surprised if environmental chemicals have been affecting development.
Either that, or they live really close to someone else who has autism."
I almost fell out of my seat. They LIVE CLOSE to someone that has autism, so that's how they got it? HAHAHA, now I've heard everything. Let's ignore the toxic chemicals and heavy metals we are directly injecting into the bodies of infants, but stay out of those ASD neighorhoods!
Posted by: JessicaF | August 15, 2010 at 11:16 AM
Thankyou Cody, for your inspiring story full of hope. I am thinking of someone for whom it could be useful.
Jessica Wittmere- Can you explain a little more. I am intrigued.
Posted by: Cherry Sperlin Misra | August 14, 2010 at 12:21 PM
Congrats! My son was born the same year as yours and we have gone through much of the same trails as you and your wife.
Our son is nearly recovered (maybe 85%) because of Andrew Cutler chelation. Low dose, frequent chelation brings us a more normal, less autistic child week after week.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel. The less mercury in our lives the better!
Posted by: Sunny | August 13, 2010 at 05:11 PM
Alison- The "homeopathic" gut supplement we gave him was developed by Dr. Anju Usman (g.i. herbal blend). I take my son to her practice, and it has made all the difference in the world. She and her entire staff are top-notch.
Posted by: Cody Jordan | August 13, 2010 at 12:55 PM
Cody, it's stories like these that let us know we are not alone. Thank you for the dedication and the reminder that we can all learn from our kiddos. My story is very similar. our son Aidan just turned 5 and is set to start public kindergarten in typical classroom with aide support on Monday. It will be an anxious first few days and weeks hoping everything works out. We were ask to leave 2 preschools already so we are keeping our fingers crossed. I'm hoping that the scarlet letter "A" is more accepted in a public school setting.
Posted by: Odysseus | August 13, 2010 at 12:30 PM
Nice. Thanks for sharing :)
Posted by: Lisa @ TACA | August 12, 2010 at 11:44 PM
Wonderful story Cody. I too have a brave recovered Child Warrior who will be starting middle school next week. And his middle name happens to be "Harrison".
Posted by: Charlie H. | August 12, 2010 at 10:41 PM
It takes so much trial and error but it is worth the effort and cost to keep our children moving forward. Every story like this is proof that there are answers and recovery for autism.
Even the setbacks are learning experiences and can be overcome in time with perseverance. My grandson was moving forward very well with Methyl B12 and Glutathione transdermal creams, essential oils, probiotics and enzymes. Then he had one challenge dose of DMSA to test his heavy metals and WHAM he went back to ground zero in his intestinal progress with liver damage on top of it. This happens more than most people realize and it is due to the release of metals from fat tissue which then recirculates and creates more damages. Sadly with the intestinal damages again, he lost his verbal progress, but we didn't give up. I just kept researching online and praying for guidance.
We then had to switch his protein formula again but I found a new product, Sun Warrior rice protein which is predigested, then we had to switch his enzymes but I found that TriEnza improved his digestion and reduced his intestinal pain and cramping. Then we had to switch probiotics so after trying 6 different ones we finally hit the jackpot with Clair Labs Ther-Biotic Complete, and he immediately started saying his words again.... only this time he had so many more words than we ever imagined that he had stored in his brain...and then he began putting multiple words together into phrases which he had never done before.
Hearing all these different words come out of his mouth really impressed upon us the fact that he was taking information into his brain all along, but just could not express what he was learning. This includes all of the numbers and alphabet lessons that we continually repeated over and over. Out came the numbers and alphabet as well as the words and phrases. For 3 years we just spoke to him and taught him knowing that he could understand but just could not reciprocate the communication....until the puzzle pieces finally came together for him. YIPPPEEE!!!
He still has problems that he needs to overcome, but we will just KEEP GOING until we resolve as many issues as possible. It has been a matter of "Progress not Perfection" all along this journey but every single improvement is a Stepping Stone of Hope.
"Keep on seeking and ye shall find, Keep on knocking and the door shall be opened to you"
Posted by: Autism Grandma | August 12, 2010 at 08:42 PM
Cody so beautifully told. A wonderful and inspiring story.
My son has the same story but a different ending. We are still fighting to get him back and Harrison's journey gives us so much hope.
Posted by: Katie Wright | August 12, 2010 at 07:19 PM
JEFF I LOVE YOUR STORY~!
Posted by: Benedetta | August 12, 2010 at 07:07 PM
BIOMEDICAL SAVES KIDS.
From a mom recovering her three "crack kids" - that is my term for the "neurotypical" kids that are toxic, suffering, and slipping through the cracks.
Posted by: Jessica Witmer | August 12, 2010 at 05:41 PM
I'm holding back tears. What a lovely story.
Posted by: Kristina | August 12, 2010 at 04:52 PM
Thanks for sharing this story, we need to get the word out that our kids can be helped. I will never forget the day my wife excitedly met me at the door and said “call Joseph and watch his eyes”. Our son had been GFCF for about four days, but this was our first biomedical intervention and I had no idea what to expect. I came in, sat down and called his name. He turned, looked me right in the eye and “yeah dad?” Before this, he would never make eye contact and rarely responded to his name. We kept coming up with excuses the rest of the evening to call him to make sure we hadn't imagined it.
He’s made tremendous progress since then and is doing well. He just turned six and will be in a regular kindergarten this year. We have been so blessed; it saddens me greatly to know it doesn't work for all of our kids.
All kids are different, but here are the ones that really worked for us:
GFCF – dramatic improvement in alertness and eye contact. 80% drop in tantrums within days.
Methyl B12 nasal spray – focus and attention, really helped with ADD-type behavior (never tried the shots)
Digestive enzymes with every meal and snack – finally got rid of the dysbiosis that anti-fungals, antibiotics, and probiotics could not rid. He had so much undigested food in his large intestines, that the bad bugs were having a field day. After the die-off, his articulation improved more in one week than it had in the previous three years of speech therapy.
General nutrition support - we use Dr. Nuebrander's suggested vitamin/mineral regimen and it has brought on a gradual, sustained improvement in Joseph's health and cognition.
Posted by: Jeff C. | August 12, 2010 at 04:46 PM
"As the Rosas have learned, there are no miracle cures for autism. Anybody who claims to have one is far more likely to have a money-making strategy that preys on vulnerable and desperate parents." from an article on Shannon Rosa of California- an anti-biomed parent who bashes Jenny McCarthy and any parent who believes there is a hope for recovery. Kiss our asses and eat your own words Shannon. Here is yet another recovered kid!!
Yeah and congrats!
Posted by: Mollie | August 12, 2010 at 02:00 PM
This month, Guiding Eyes for the Blind’s Heeling Autism program is in the running for a $250,000 grant from Pepsi’s Refresh Project. We are currently ranked 7th out of 415 – we need to be in first or second place to receive funding.
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Can you help us encourage more votes? You can post this link – www.refresheverything.com/autismdogsforchildren - to your blog / FB page / etc. Your supporters have the potential to make a huge difference.
Thank you for your consideration; please let me know if you have any questions or if you’d like more information.
Events and Marketing Manager
Guiding Eyes for the Blind
611 Granite Springs Road
Yorktown Heights, NY 10598
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Posted by: Michelle Brier | August 12, 2010 at 12:30 PM
Ah,m what a great story to read this morning:) And what a handsome young man, congrats Cody and Harrison!
Posted by: kathleen | August 12, 2010 at 10:38 AM
Excellent! There's nothing better than hearing of recovery, thank you so much for sharing!
Which homeopathic gut supplement did you try? I know they are all "per child" and per symptom, but am just curious. Thanks..
Posted by: Allison | August 12, 2010 at 09:35 AM
Yey for Harrison! Great article, Cody - it brought a smile to my face and a tear to my eye. I will continue to say this - we don't have the big PR firm that Pharms have, but we have first-hand witness stories and word-of-mouth. This will change over the public opinion, one person at a time.
Posted by: Deb in IL | August 12, 2010 at 08:57 AM
Parents who seek to help their kids overcome / accept their difficulties / difference, are all to often let down by our governments who choose to sneer at our commitment and hands on experience, rather than deal with their blame and give the help we really need.
Posted by: Robin Rowlands - ( The Vigilant and Virtuous ) | August 12, 2010 at 07:49 AM