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An Autism Mom Discusses Recovering From Recovery and a Near Death Moment

By Ann. A. Mom

I cringe a bit lately when I read stories about recovered children.  I'm ashamed to admit that these stories conjure up an enormous amount of self-pity and just plain jealousy in me.  This hasn't, however, always been the case. 

Years ago, recovery stories used to fill me with hope for my son John, who was diagnosed with severe autism back in 2002.  I still remember when I first read about the success of the GFCF diet.  I vividly recall standing in the natural foods aisle at the grocery store, looking at what was then a very miniscule selection of gluten-free foods (my how these selections have grown over the years!), and seeing eight or nine developmentally disabled young adults on a group outing, being led through the store with the guidance of an assistant.  One of the young men, maybe about 21 years old with wavy blond hair, stopped walking and stood just inches away from me, with his fingers curled into a strange position beside his face while he fixed his gaze upon some product on the shelf before us, and moaned a little.  I stood there trembling a bit, in outright fear of the future, and then pulled myself together and told myself, "John won't turn out like this.  We can change his diet and he will get better!".  I filled my shopping cart with gluten-free and casein-free items and drove home filled with hope.

The early years of autism went by in a blur of special diets, sleepless nights, visits to autism specialists, blood draws and lab results, countertops filled with an ever-increasing selection of supplements, middle-of-the-night tip toe visits into John's bedroom to give B12 injections without waking him, ABA therapists marching in and out the door, puzzles and fine-motor manipulatives and laminated matching cards covering every square inch of the house...you all know the scene.  Yet despite all these efforts, along with time spent bouncing around from one inappropriate educational placement to another, it seemed that we still had an incredibly long way to go.  Recovery from autism was nowhere on the horizon.  I started to identify less and less with the parents who'd seen overnight success with simple dietary intervention, and found myself spending more and more time on the message boards for those with the so-called 'tough nut', non-responder kids.  Sure, we had gotten a little bit of functional language, but not nearly enough to help him survive independently.  Cognitive skills remained a very real struggle.  Behaviors would improve for awhile, only to plummet back into extreme obsessions or horrific meltdowns.  All in all, it had been quite disappointing, as well as enormously expensive.
I'm pretty sure I did what any normal parent might have done under similar circumstances: I became a bit jaded and disgusted with the whole ordeal.  In between praising my son for his accomplishments, I am fairly certain I also gave him some looks that demonstrated disapproval and frustration.  I know in my mind I compared him unfavorably to other 'normal' kids his age, and even to children his own age who had autism.  I didn't handle each and every tantrum with patience and a willingness to understand; in fact, I distinctly recall some blood-curdling screams coming from my direction.  I'm pretty sure that by this point in our autism journey, I was not giving off too many of those warm and fuzzy maternal feelings I had initially felt for my son.  In a nutshell, I was seriously burned out.
But as we all know, life has a way of stepping in to wake us up, especially when we most need it and least expect it.

Like so many kids with autism, John has always had a love affair with water. 

We happen to be especially fortunate in that my parents' house is situated on a small lake.  A thrilling diversion for John has always been to spend the day at the lake, which is what we were doing on this particular August afternoon.  I was sitting in a lawn chair on the beach, talking with my mother who sat beside me.  Our conversation drifted from autism to books we'd just read, to recent happenings with family members and relatives.  (I had been out of the familial loop for almost a decade now, as John's severe sensory issues have always made it impossible for us to attend family functions.)  All the while, we were casually watching John and my husband playing in the water.  My husband would alternate between falling forward and backward into the water, making a huge splash as he submerged underwater and came back up.  John would laugh with glee, posturing his hands near his face in his usual display of pure delight.  Then John would take his turn (turn-taking - hey, another goal we could check off as mastered!  Hooray!).  He would stand straight up, fall like a board into the water, going under and coming back up, with a quick look around for admiring eyes and applause from us onshore.   A perfect day at the beach, enjoying a rather typical childhood activity, with me getting a chance to actually sit down and converse with another adult - not a common occurrence for those of us who are autism parents.
My husband went underwater again, and stayed under for a bit longer than usual.  John apparently decided it was a long enough wait for Daddy, and dove underwater while my husband was still submerged.  My mom and I watched from shore, idly chatting, until we both sensed at the same time that something was clearly amiss.  John was not coming back up.  My husband had since resurfaced and was wiping the water from his face, looking around for John.  I leapt off my chair and ran to the water.  Together we reached around underwater and lifted John off the sandy lake bottom, his body limp and extremely heavy.  As John's head slumped backward, my husband and I looked at each other in sheer horror; our only goal now was to carry his body the fifteen foot stretch back to shore.  Suddenly, his 90 pounds of solid muscle slipped out of our grasp and fell back under water, and we quickly pulled him up again as the sand raked its way through the skin on our arms and legs.
In what must have appeared to be the world's clumsiest, most pathetic rescue, we finally managed to reach the shoreline and drop John onto the sandy beach.  By this time, he was simply a lump of dead weight, not breathing, eyes closed, his skin a cross between pale blue and ghostly white.  I screamed to my mom, "Call 911" and she quickly ran off to find the telephone.  On my knees, crouching over what appreared to me to be my son's dead body, a thought lodged itself into my mind: This is IT?  This is the end?  Only eight short years of life with this beautiful child, and I have spent most of them trying to fix him?  He is going to die believing that I never thought he was good enough. 
I despised myself for ever thinking badly of John.  Here on the ground before me was a child who would offer a smile to anyone on earth, regardless of their flaws or shortcomings.  He judged no one.  He would often walk up to elderly people whom he'd just met and offer them a handshake.  He never held a grudge; after any conflict, he would gently tap our arms in a gesture of peace and forgiveness.  Without even speaking, he managed to make friends wherever he went.  How dare I presume he was not good enough?

I desperately began trying to recall what I had learned years ago in CPR training.  My God, at least twenty five years had passed since I nonchalantly muddled my way through one of those classes with those creepy dummies dressed in sweat suits.  Back then, the main message I took away from that class was how outrageously funny my girlfriends and I thought the obligatory "Annie, Annie, are you okay?" question was.  (One girl from our gang was named Annie.)  Christ, I even owned a How to Save Your Child first aid video which I bought after a marble-choking incident when John was three, but with the incessant demands of autism, I never got a chance to watch it.  Now here I was crouched before my apparently dying child, with my adrenaline-loaded brain racing through options such as "clear the airway", "give 'x' number of breaths" (no idea how many), "give chest compressions" (again, how many?), "turn the body on its side for drowning victims", the list went on and on.  I performed them all, in probably the most botched and haphazard manner possible, all the while believing that John was, if not dying, then already dead.  I even prayed.  I'm quite ashamed to admit to that one; as a Philosophy major with an emphasis on existentialism, I had renounced the existence of God way back in college, declaring myself an atheist (think Recovering Catholic). 
So here I was, praying to a God I did not believe in, giving mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to my cold and bluish son, both of us soaking wet and covered with sand and bloody scrapes.  I never heard the ambulance and police car sirens, I never looked up to see where my husband and mother were.  I was engaged in a serious battle with myself for ever having made this angelic child believe he was not good enough just as he was.  I chastised myself for each and every one of the disappointing looks I must have directed toward him, from the less than stellar ABA sessions to the unruly behaviors in the grocery stores, to the violent tantrums that were thrown during die-off reactions from antifungals, antibacterials, anti-you-name-it's.  I had been, I surmised, a horrible mother.
Whatever act of nature stepped in next (God? Luck? Certainly not my spastic CPR efforts), John's eyelids fluttered a bit, he took a breath on his own, and opened his eyes.  He vacantly stared at me, groaned, and began to slowly move his body.  He was alive.  He was ALIVE!
I was going to get a second chance.  A chance to love him and accept him, severe autism and all.  A chance to endure the maddening OCD rituals, the restrictive diet, the tantrums, the hitting, the pinching, the laughter, and the look of absolute trust when his eyes meet mine.  A chance to show him that he is not inherently flawed, but rather that he is loved unconditionally.
In the days and weeks following the accident, I walked around in a state of shock and utter despair.  Not only had I screwed up big time  by allowing my CPR skills to lapse and by not staying close enough to John while he was swimming, but worse, I felt as though I had betrayed my son with my non-stop efforts to fix him.  I started to wonder if this is what 'they' meant; I began to seriously think about those folks out there who condemn us for attempting to fix our children.  Maybe they were right after all.  Maybe just embracing autism and accepting our children exactly as they are really was the way to go.  Gravely, I asked myself, should I stop trying to treat John's medical problems, should I allow his autistic behaviors to run their course, should I give up on trying to reverse the damage done to his entire biological system?  Should I simply let him be as he is, and enjoy life in whatever way he can?  In some way, taking this route suddenly made sense to me.  And yet...
In theory, I suppose it would have made for some interesting material to ponder over in a few more Ethics classes, but in reality, I had before me a child who was (and is) medically ill.  How could I ignore all those lab results that covered my desk and took up space on my computer - those test results that showed multiple serious food allergies, or the colorfully printed reports that revealed a half-page long list of pathogenic gut bugs lurking in his GI tract?  Or the tests that indicated intestinal inflammation and severe malabsorption of nutrients?  And was I just supposed to ignore all the physical symptoms like the strange rashes and the abdominal bloating that made him look like he was forever eight months pregnant?  Or the headaches so severe that he would often cry "head hurt" and slam his head so hard he would leave dents in the wall?
No, in the case of my particular child, ignoring all these medical issues was in my opinion simply not an option.  And furthermore, I couldn't ignore the fact that much of the dietary and nutritional intervention actually had helped in some small way.  No, he wasn't recovered.  Not even close.  But I had to admit that he was somewhat better off than when we began our biomed journey.  Gone were the years of incessant diarrhea (which 'coincidentally' began directly after his MMR immunization), thanks to a restricted diet and supplements.  Gone were the perpetually dilated pupils and those horrific nights filled with endless screaming.  Gone were the 104 degree fevers that sprang up out of nowhere every two or three nights.  Gone were the hours and days in which he avoided us and preferred to go off somewhere and spend his time utterly alone, quietly banging his head on the wall.  In place of those problems, John now had fairly good eye contact, a small amount of spontaneous speech, a strong desire to socialize, and a budding sense of humor.  But most significant of all, he no longer appeared to be in constant physical pain.
The answer was clear: it was worth it; it had been the right path to take for this particular child.  I can't predict the future, but I don't think we will be one of those miraculous recovery stories.  We've made baby steps in our attempts at recovery, but we are nowhere near the finish line called normalcy.  Does that mean we should stop trying?  I don't think so.  What I do realize now is that in all my frenzied attempts to resolve John's medical and behavioral issues, I had gradually ended up overlooking a huge part of the equation: his emotional well-being.  But I also know that all the love and affection in the world isn't going to repair his inflamed and damaged brain and gut.  And I know for certain now that when I try to resolve the medical problems that contribute to his behavioral problems, it doesn't mean I dislike who he is and want him to be someone else; it means I desperately long for him to have the life he was originally meant to have, unhindered by all the medical conditions that are holding him back and causing him to suffer.
And so, during these past few years I have been working on discovering how to walk that very fine line between repairing the physical and mental damage done to my child, and still letting him know he is flawless just as he exists right now.  I still eat, sleep and breathe biomedical treatments.  I still research and where appropriate (and affordable), try many of the ever-evolving forms of therapy for him.  And to paraphrase the words of another biomed parent, if rolling around in cow dung would help my kid get better, I'd do that in a heartbeat.  But what has changed since the incident is a bit more of an examination into how each approach directly affects John.  Rather than a fiercely determined, experts-say-this-will-work approach, I'm a little more careful about how each newly tried treatment or therapy makes John feel.  Physically, yes, but more importantly, emotionally and spiritually.  And if that means cutting back on a supplement that is supposed to help him but clearly makes him feel like crap, or if it means we spend a little less time on reading sight words and a little more time on giggling, then so be it.  Quite simply, I'm learning to ask this question: am I pushing him away, making him feel more alone and inadequate, or am I helping to make him feel more connected to us and everyone in the world? 

More than three and a half years have passed since the near-drowning, and many of the details of that day have faded from my memory, but I do recall one thing for certain, and even though this seems so utterly obvious, I'll say it anyway: I did not (and do not) want him to die.  And even though a huge chunk of the daily grind involved in parenting a child with autism can be immensely frustrating and downright maddening (and I'm writing this on a good day!), I keep reminding myself to stop focusing on the future and my desperate longing for John's eventual recovery, and I'm learning to focus instead on the experiences we are sharing moment to moment.  And maybe next time, it won't take a near-fatal accident to get me to pay attention to what is really important.  Whether or not we ever reach that elusive goal of autism recovery, I hope that in the end I could say that I spent my minutes and hours and days enjoying my son for who he is right now.  I guess we are in it for the long haul, and we'll keep stumbling along, sometimes falling, sometimes getting lost, on this path to recovery.  Only now, I'm making sure we remember to stop and admire some of the scenery along the way.


chairs for the disabled

i feel so bad when i read your story, just be strong, your son is in good hand now.



Sue Backer

Thank you so much for this raw and honest article.
We must never lose sight of the absolute gift and perfectness of our children, at the same time, never ignore their medical issues and fight to heal them, no matter what.
Acceptance and fighting to recover from damages, however incurred should always be together, never separated.

Elaine Hickey

Powerful and poignant! (typed with tears still streaming down my face)


This quite simply is the best article I have read here ever!!

Amanda Blinn

Thank you for this beautiful story which I have read, as it was written, on a good day. Thank you.

Re another commenter: We have also read Dr. Andy Cutler's book and work with a DAN dr who believes in Cutler's book. Our son is 14 and tho' also not fully recovered, 11 years of biomedical intervention, including treatment for mercury poisoning, have made our lives better.

Lisa @ TACA

Well written. Thank you.


Again, thank you all for the kind comments and for sharing your similar feelings and experiences and suggestions. I truly appreciate it!

Here's to true happiness for all our kids, wherever they may happen to fall on the spectrum.


I too have to say this is my favorite piece I've ever read on AoA.

I've discovered that there is a "Philosophy of autism," it mostly focuses on how the mind of "an autistic individual" works. I wish there were more focus on the causes, as in philosophy of science.

 Michelle B

I don't care WHAT families of recovered kids say: a diet will not recover a mercury poisoned child.

I swear on the life of my nearly recovered child, the answer is ANDREW HALL CUTLER CHELATION PROTOCOL.


This is probably the best article I've read on this blog. Thanks for your honesty and I'm so glad your son survived and you're enjoying your relationship with him to the fullest.


God bless you.I hope and pray for your son and all of our children.

Jessica Weissberg

God Bless you and your son.

Sunny P

Dear "Ann A. Mom,"
Thank you so very much for writing this. It is beautifully written and has given me much to think about. I love my boys with all my heart---but, as one dad said, often spend so much time with my nose in books or on-line researching that I miss my time with them. Definitely need more time giggling!
Thank you again---I know so many of us can relate to so many different points and emotions you've raised. What a gift your story was to me and my family today...

RN mommy

So glad I popped in here today to read your story. Just beautiful and I am so glad you shared. My Dad used to tell me to not be so focused on the destination that you forget the journey. I hope my children feel they are cherished as I try to recover them. What a lovely and accurate account you have shared of your experience of living with autism.


Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful story. I too have a precious son who is a "non or under-responder" and have struggled with many similar emotions. After taking a break from intesive biomed treatments for almost a year I am feeling more refreshed and ready to start anew and see what further progress we can make. All the baby steps eventually can thankfully add up to big steps. Press on!



Great story Ann


Try antiviral meds on your child. Longvita is a good place to start it is curcummin (a natural antiviral non toxic wrapped in neural tissue so that it penetrates the blood brain barrier). This helped my baby alot. The vaccines are VIRUSES!!! Thimerasal although obviously bad is not the real culprit it is the actual viruses altering his immune response.

Do not give up on getting your child back you have fought this hard keep going you can do it, WE ALL CAN AND MUST DO IT.

Either you will have a functional child when it is all over or you will not- No matter what do not stop trying. God hears your prayers.

One of my patients, who I was about to operate on, asked me once if I pray for my patients. I told him that I only pray for my patients before surgery , during surgery and after surgery, other than that no, I do not pray for my patients. He said well that is all of the time, I said yeah that works best for me.

He said you fall back on that then I said no I STAND UP ON IT.

Ann stand up on your Prayers to God



Thank you for writing this very moving story, and to AoA for posting it!

Barbie Hines

This was awesome! Eight must be a magic number. My son just turned nine, and for the past year, we have pulled back dramatically on biomed treatments, for exactly the reasons you explain. We have seen no difference, on or off biomed...but I do believe we are the exception...and I don't regret any of the work we have done either...

I live your life. I greatly respect you, and thank you for sharing. The older my son gets, the more "specialized" we become...we are so different from the typical autism community...it's refreshing to hear from someone closer to our world!


What an inspiring article; thank you. You've willed your son back, and you're willing him to wellness. Mother love is powerful medicine.

m nagy

wow...i dont usually read many articles of this type because they are so emotional, but this one i had to read the whole thing with tears streaming down my face. because he cant tell us, all i can do is hope my little guy is happy, because to me thats all that really matters in the end. great article.


I have gone through something similar with one recovered child, and one who it appears will always be severely DD. I have made many difficult decisions in the interest of his emotional health and secure attachment to me (his only parent), over things like B12 injections and blood draws. In the end we sort of found the "magic bullet" in that he was starting to verbalize partial words, but mostly for foods he wanted that I would rather not have given him. We stayed on a modified diet but added enzymes, and his speech took off but more importantly his joy in life soared. What seemed like a sad compromise actually allowed him to live a completely happy, physically healthy life and, within a few hours of starting them, opened up what turned out to be an incredible talent that I never would have known he had. So I guess I would add that you never know whether you're "giving up" on something that might have been the cure, or turning toward what in fact may be a more appropriate intervention for your particular child.

Also, there's the Ohio State rabbit study, where rabbits were bred to have all the risk factors for coronary disease, then fed a diet high in saturated fat. At the end of the study, 15% had no hardening of the arteries or coronary disease whatsoever, while all the rest had volumes. They discovered that a graduate assistant had petted those healthy 15% of the rabbits with no disease on a daily basis, when they were fed, and that the nurturing and physical contact alone trumped both genetics and diet. The scientists didn't really believe that could explain it, so they replicated the study several times, with identical results. (source: Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom, 2006 edition, p. 757.) This was very meaningful to me, as I think it speaks volumes to the need for empathy and compassion - something sorely lacking from conventional medicine, and particularly, the vaccine schedule - in approaching our sensitive children.

Kym Grosso

Loved this article. It gave me chills. It really is an incredible account of what happened. I really enjoyed it and can relate.

I do not consider my son to be recovered either but I do feel lucky my son is where he is today. My son spoke very little when diagnosed...essentially nonverbal and tantrummed often. I can remember them trying to teach him sign language and PECS, which didn't work. Today, he is considered Aspergers, has several friends with autism and is fully included in typical classes...academically he does very well.

And I often wonder how he got from where he was to where he is. Sometimes there is no apparent reason for progress or lack of progress. Yes there was a lot of hard work...we did lots of biomed and ABA and all kinds of things. But lots of other people do the same thing, and they don't make progress. Most of my son's friends, if not all, did not start off severe like my son was. I would also mention that my son's progress did not happen overnight....more like years and years. Up until 3rd grade, he was still having tantrums and eloping. It wasn't until 5th grade, that things started to get easier in school. And today, although very high functioning, he still has autism.

Anyway, I just wanted to comment because I just really, really liked this article. It was an excellent read.

Julie Leonardo

Thank you for writing this! I have found myself thinking the same things. I have a child with the dual diagnosis of Down Syndrome and autism, and I wonder how far she will come. but after having tried the B12 shots and seeing her start to freak out when I come near her to change her diaper, I started to realize that I was jeopardizing my relationship with her and her trust in me. I will try sublingual drops, even though it's not "the gold standard" because frankly, my daughter is wonderful to me already and such an awesome human being. I desperately want her to recover from the autism, but I want her to know that she is ok as she is and very loved. It IS a fine line, and I am glad that you have brought that to our attention. Thank you again, and God Bless!


Thank you, everyone, for the kind words. I have to admit, I was terrified to even look at the comments today, for fear I would be judged harshly. That so many of you can relate and have had such similar experiences is sad, but comforting indeed. Thank you.

Kim T - I agree. If RDI had been as popular back then as it is now, this story would probably have been a whole lot different!

Kendra - thank you so much for sharing your view from the Recovery Zone. It helps, it really really does.

Thanks, all!


Unbelievably beautiful.

Kim T

What a beautiful heartfelt account! I liked when you said "I'm a little more careful about how each newly tried treatment or therapy makes John feel. Physically, yes, but more importantly, emotionally and spiritually." Those early years I felt like I had little regard for how my son felt. It was almost as if since he couldn't express his emotions well I treated him as if he didn't have them. I am very thankful that I switched from ABA to Relationship Development Intervention (RDI) when my son was four. Not only did it help him go back through development and allow him to gain the relational skills he never acquired, it helped restore our relationship and gave me tools to help me be the parent I always wanted to be but didn't know how to with a child with autism. I'm so thankful for a therapy that helps guide relationships with the whole family!


I find it impossible not to enjoy my son even though I fully expect him to respond to the work and to come out of the cocoon of autism any day now. What Im wrestling with however is that maybe he has already come out, and this is who he is.

When a child is laying in your arms not breathing it's pretty obvious where you are, when he is in your arms laughing, when he is bouncing around the house it's way less obvious.

I accept nothing about my son's autism any more than I would water in his lungs and I would pull him up to the top of the highest mountain by my teeth if he asked to see the world. Our work with Ben is similar to a "soccer mom" putting a Suzuki violin in the hands of her NT child and expecting someday to hear a tune. That's accepted, that's okay, that's love. But spending time with him to teach him why it is important to say your sorry, or why we take turns is too much to expect, to even attempt.

Kendra Pettengill

I have a recovered child and I often have feelings of guilt. Why did my child react so dramatically, why did the things we chose work for us but don't work for others. I once had an awakening after telling my story in the ARI newsletter, when another Mom reminded me to be careful how we word our stories and she was right. The children that have recovered did not because;
1) We worked harder than you (generic you)
2) Spent more money than you
3) Sacrificed more than you
4) Wanted it more than you
Some children recovered because they were set up to react differently. While I don't believe they would have recovered without our efforts I certainly know it was not because our efforts were greater than anyone elses. It was pure and simple luck that whatever damage was done to our kids was somehow reversible. I understand your feelings because they are natural and at every level we have all felt similar feelings. No matter what level our children have reached we worry about the future, the unknown, uncertainty, another regression, seizures, worries to infinity. We all share one thing though, we all love our children and those that say otherwise are ignorant. Thank you for your beautiful story and your honesty. We are all much more alike than we think. Those outside of our community seem only able to offer pity or disdain, from within we have empathy and understanding. It is what sustains us all.

Adam M

RE: Quite simply, I'm learning to ask this question: am I pushing him away, making him feel more alone and inadequate, or am I helping to make him feel more connected to us and everyone in the world?

I've asked this many times myself. I've been keeping my head down reading everything I can on recovering my son for fear that I might miss something that I don't think we've laughed enough, played enough or talked enough. I sometimes think the same thing about his typical sisters. Are they really getting enough attention? Please LORD guide my steps!


Beautifully written... I can relate to it on many levels...


Through my tears and my goosebumps after reading this, I thank you and applaud you for your openness and your honesty.


You got me...now I'll need to recover from reading this!


I, too, can relate so much to this. My youngest sons severe autism makes the world a dangerous place for him. Accidents, water, wandering, strangers - so many areas he is at risk because of his lack of speech, his sensory dysfunction and his curiosity/lack of danger awareness. I love who he is 100%, but I will never stop trying to make him as healthy, happy and safe as I can. He deserves nothing less. But this reminds to make sure to always continue to express my admiration for who he is right now, not what goals I am hoping he will achieve in the future.

chriso Prodromou

I am so surprised that i am not alone feeling every exact thing u explained.... Its like a copy paste of our life here with my Stephanos...
God bless us all...
Thanks for sharing

CarolynC Kylesmom

What a beautiful story. When you saw your son had nearly drowned, you HAD to pull him out of the water. You HAD to rescue him with everything at your disposal. That is no different than all of the therapies you tried in order to free him from the murky depths of autism

. . and yet your point is beautiful and true and thanks for reminding us to enjoy our children and love them unconditionally at the same time we are trying to lessen their burden and pain. It's such a paradox ! No one questions a Mom who has to give their child an insulin injection for diabetes or tells her to just accept that child. And no one should question a Mom who tries every relevant therapy for our poisoned children. But sadly, these treatments for any injured child must confuse the children at times, and its heartbreaking.

You are a wonderful, devoted Mom. Thanks for writing this!


Thank you for this beautiful piece on your love for you son just as he is. So honest and poinant.

Theodore Van Oosbree

We have done multiple interventions for our now 18 and 15 year- old sons without much visible effect. I comfort myself with the idea that they might be much worse off if we had not done it (as many children are). No head-banging, no violence, just a little self-injury. What doesn't kill me strengthens me.


Very profound, and eerily familiar. My son also had a near drowning experience that will never leave my memory. It often invades my sleep. As do the many other dangerous situations my son has gotten into. I can relate to so much of what you've written. I love my son, as he is, for who he is and for those that intimate that treating his underlying medical issues means I don't, they are wrong, mislead and have no right to insinuate I'm doing anything less than looking out for his best interests, his medical condition, his absolute needs. We all do the best we can as parents, we love our children and have to remember that 'what everyone else says' is not applicable to our individual situations. When we lead from our hearts and our own knowledge and our own individual children and situations, it's never wrong. Thank you for sharing!

Steph M

I too can relate, all that's missing is the near tragedy. I always joke with my friends that I live at a defcon level 5 at all times. My son is 7.



Beautiful story. Thank you!


This a great piece that brought tears to my eyes . . . thank you so much for sharing it with all of us.

God bless.

Phoenix Mom

I can perfectly relate to your story. Thank you for sharing it and know that you are not alone.
My son is 7 and we have had a very similar journey

Robin Rowlands

As we all have snapshot memories from our childhood that take us back to particular moments in time when our world and our perspective and understanding were so different - we wonder how our children who have recovered - must look back at their not so distant and yet maybe that isn't so - memories of when autism had them in its' grasp.

The memory of what we ourselves went threw and that sickening feeling that -' but for the grace of god - as it were '- I suspect haunts all of us who have been lucky.

In many ways I suppose the ghosts and impact to our psyche are similar in many ways, to those who survived the concentration camps - except in our case we have to deal with the continuing denial of the truth and their blame for it by the authorities.

We are so glad that such as Age of Autism is there for you.

Robin Rowlands

Guildford UK

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