December 19, 2006


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The Stockings are Hung

The kids are EXCITED about Christmas this year!

In our house we have two trees.  One for Mommy to decorate with all of her precious Lenox ornaments (no little hands allowed!).  The other is a kid sized tree for the children to decorate.  Both trees went up a few weeks ago.  After the children's tree was fully decked out Cameron came to me and said, "Mommy, is this Megan's first Christmas?"  I thought I was going to burst into tears (I'm on the verge even as I type the recollection of it).  This is poignant for two reasons.  First, it was a question.  As simple as that sounds it is something that children with ASD generally don't do.  But in recent weeks the all important "wh" questions (who, what, where, etc) have been pouring out of Cameron.  The second and more critical reason lies in the base of the question itself.   We "lost" Cameron in the year before Megan was born.  Although Cameron was improving after we began treatment last fall; he had a LONG way to go and had yet to discover he had a sister.  This is the very first Christmas he can recall in which both he and Megan are present.  So for Cameron this feels like his little sister's first Christmas!

Cam and Meg have gotten used to being asked what they want for Christmas.  The other night while Cam and I were walking up to his room to tuck him in he turned to me and asked "what do you want for Christmas Mommy?"  I told him that I just wanted a happy son and daughter.  He questioned, "Cameron and Megan?...You can't want that!  What else do you want?"  Really that's all I want or need.  Truth be told; that is really all that either of our children need as well.  So for those checking in on us; please remember to consider donating to Autism treatment and research this holiday season.  Some organizations you may consider for gift donations are:  Generation Rescue, Autism Speaks, The National Autism Association, the Autism Research Institute and Autism One.


Off to Disney World We Go

The children got sick (respiratory infection) just days before leaving for our 10 day vacation.  This was Cameron's first illness in a year!  A far cry from the twice a month illness schedule we were on before beginning treatment.  

We merrily passed our cold around the family during our vacation.  But illness aside we had a great time.  It was much different from our May 2005 Disney Vacation (prior to begin DAN treatment).  Cameron was very present for this vacation.  He was excited and took everything in.  He interacted with us, his sister, friends and all of the characters in the parks.  He was most excited about all of the roller coasters.  He went on every ride that he met height requirement for including Space Mountain and The Tower of Terror!  Two years ago you would have thought we were trying to kill him if you even placed him on a swing set and now this kid is asking to ride roller coasters!  After his first coaster he walked off, turned to his Daddy and exclaimed "THAT...WAS COOL!"

We decided to leave Apollo at home after talking to other service dog families.  We feared the long days in the parks would just be too hard on him.  Although Cam is doing so well, I still feared that Cam might run off and I would kick myself for not having Apollo with us.  So we decided to purchase an IonKids system as a precaution.  I bought a family system so we could monitor both kids.  The kids really liked picking out the colors and decorations for their new GPS monitors that look like fancy watches.  And the system worked very well for us.  I knew if Cam and I got too far apart and so did he.  If he went passed his "safe zone" his wrist monitor would beep and he would back up and look around for me to make sure he was okay.  This response was great!   Similarly to tethering with Apollo, Cameron was more than happy to put on his "watch" each day knowing he would have a bit a freedom and mom would not have a death grip on him all day long.

The park staff was fabulous.  We met with the head chef at every restaurant when we sat down to discuss Cameron's restricted diet/food allergies.  The head chefs checked and double checked everything and then personally made Cameron's meals each time.  Cameron was very excited to see what they were serving him at each meal.  I was a bit surprised by this excitement.  We have taken to eating at home most of the time and when we do have to go out I pack a meal for Cameron to eat so that we don't risk a diet infraction.  Cameron is always very accepting of this plan and has never shown any dissatisfaction.  However, the true feelings of this necessity was apparent in his reaction to having a chef bring him a freshly prepared meal each time we sat down.  It makes me wish we had more restaurants locally and at other vacation destinations that would accommodate these dietary restrictions as well as Disney.

Disney World was truly a magical place (food and all)!

The Hyperbaric Chamber is in

We decided to purchase a portable chamber for the house.  Cameron will have to go into the chamber twice a day (morning and evening).  Not only will it be convenient to have the chamber at home for this reason; but there are no local places with soft chambers we could use anyhow.  So $20,000 later we are the proud owners of Vitaeris 320 Hyperbaric Chamber.  We also ordered the oxygen concentrator for the unit but are not using it at this time.  We will do the first series of dives without it and may add the oxygen aspect in later dependent on Cameron's response. 

The chamber was fully assembled and tested on Sunday and Cameron anxiously asked all about it and when he could get in.  I explained to him that the HBOT was to help him heal and keep his autism away and that that we may begin on Thursday.  Cameron replied "that is a Vitamin Shot day," referring to his MB-12 shot that he gets every three days.  Surprised, I responded "that's right, you are very smart to know your schedule so well."  To which Cameron declared "I'm not sick anymore!"


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Disclaimer:  The material on this site is for informational purposes only and is not to be meant as medical advice.  Please consult a trusted and knowledgeable physician when making medical and treatment decisions.

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