Regression Begins


Regression Begins
Searching for Help
Investigating Heavy Metals
Treatment and Recovery


Developmentally, Cameron made all of his milestones appropriately (and ahead of his neurotypical sister).  That is until after Cameron's first birthday when we began seeing ASD symptoms, although at the time we weren't aware that they were indeed ASD symptoms we were witnessing.  

The first symptoms we witnessed were food associated.  Cameron had always been a very LARGE baby with a healthy appetite.  Around his first birthday following a stomach virus and a routine vaccination he began refusing any food that had texture to it.  He began only accepting foods that were dry or breaded (ie dry cereal, bread, crackers, chicken nuggets, ect).  He would scream when offered anything else even though he once loved all food.  We were again assured that this was "normal," and advised to continue offering him a variety of foods and that he would someday return to them.  To this day food and texture remain two of our biggest obstacles.  

We became further alarmed about his nutrition when Cam was 16 months old and began losing weight and falling sharply on the percentile growth chart.  He went from a fully plump toddler to an emaciated, pale little boy almost overnight.  When naked he appeared to be skin and bone with the exception of his belly which was distended.  He looked similar to one of those children so often seen in National Geographic who are ill and malnourished. His doctor began monitoring his weight for a few months but again decided that he was "normal" and attributed his weight change to genetics and recent illness (bronchitis).  

Now we know this is a classic physical symptom of children with ASD.  We've learned that the cause for this lies with the vaccinations that Cameron received (and the metals found within them).  Metal poisoning does damage to the intestinal system and digestive process.  This damage is often referred to as "leaky gut."  Our child was not in fact healthy.  

Physically, our child was disappearing before our eyes.  He had become extremely constipated, was in severe physical/abdominal pain (screaming for extended periods of time while attempting to place pressure on his belly), lost weight, developed skin rashes (eczema), had dark circles under his eyes, was extremely pale, seemed chronically ill and had developed asthma.  Later, when we knew better, lab results showed that he was very low in minerals, vitamins and amino acids because of the overload of metals.  We also found that he had developed a severe allergy to casein (dairy products) and gluten (wheat, oat, and barley products) in part due to his leaky gut.  These foods were entering his blood system before being making their full journey through the intestines and being broken down appropriately.  Therefore, they were entering Cameron's blood system in the form of an opiate (similar to morphine or heroine!).

The issue that we were always most concerned with was Cameron's language skills.  He had begun speaking around his first birthday.  He would gain a word use it for a week and then stop using it or lose it.  We again asked his doctors about this and were told again that this was "normal" for some children.  We were told that he may just be a late talker.  We were told not to pressure him to talk and that his speech would come in it's own time.  We were repeatedly told many bright adults were late talkers, that boys develop slower than girls, and not to worry.  We accepted these explanations at first since we really wanted our child to be healthy & happy.

Some of the other symptoms we started seeing when Cam was a toddler that we didn't understand were ASD related were:

1.  Tactile defensiveness.  Although Cameron was a very affectionate child who loved (and still does love) to be hugged, kissed, etc; he did not like to be restrained in anyway.  That is to say that he did not like to be touched or picked up when he didn't ask for it to be done.  Other tactile issues that Cam had exhibited were fears of tight spaces (such as crowded shopping aisles) and a fear of baths.  These issues we were able to work through together using behavior modification techniques.

2.  Stimming.  Self stimulation is a common ASD symptom.  In Cameron's case he began sorting everything he touched.  He would sort toys, books, anything he could get his hands on.  We pointed this out to his doctors and were told he was just "quirky" and that he would likely be an organized adult.  We were also able to overcome Cam's need for order by using behavior modification techniques at home.  Looking back at old videos we now notice that Cam also showed other symptoms of stimming as a toddler such as: bouncing and hand flapping.

3.  Unresponsive to verbal instruction.  Cameron has always been able to multitask things that interest him (computer games, cartoons, puzzles and toys all at the same time).  However, when he was a toddler he stopped responding to his name when called and would stare blankly when asked to do something.  When we pointed this out to doctor's we were told he must just have that male gene that filters out nagging and not to worry.

4.  Inappropriate fear.  Cameron became abnormally afraid of things that he need not be afraid of (like swings and tight spaces) while seemingly fearless in situations that he needed to be cautious in (such as busy streets and leaps off of high objects).

5.  Non-age appropriate ability.  Upon Cameron's second birthday we began to witness abilities that were higher than age appropriate.  For instance Cameron could count into the thousands (forward and backward), recite the alphabet (forward and backward), run any electronic appliance in our home including our computer (for which he preferred Microsoft Word and Excel to games), he could type faster than most adults and was able to read already.

6.  Language Regression.  Cameron's speech had been progressing normally until he was 18 months old and then he began losing words he once had.  He became speechless.  He was unable to verbalize his needs and was only able to speak words that he saw written in front of him (i.e. he could read aloud but could not speak words on his own and spontaneously).

7.  Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.  Between 18 and 24 months Cam developed OCD.  This showed itself from things as small as the kind, size, shape and presentation of his chicken nuggets to larger routines such as getting ready for bed.  If things were not just right he would have a panic attack or "meltdown" and have to start from the beginning of the process to "do it right."

8.  Social Isolation.  Cameron could not play with other children (in fact he really never even noticed they were in the room with him).  He played on his own and in his own little world.  He did seem to be aware that his parents were in the room and would play with us, but everyone else appeared to be decor in his world.

9.  Seeking "deep pressure."  Cameron began climbing on furniture and mommy to feed his need for deep pressure.  Some of this was to place pressure on his abdomen to relieve pain; and also to address sensory issues that he had developed.

10.  Lack of eye contact.  Cameron stopped being able to make eye contact.  He would look and people or objects sideways or with one eye shut.   

11.  Other physical symptoms.  Extremely pale skin, dark circles under his eyes, eczema, frequent ear infections, frequent bronchial infections, asthma and distended abdomen.


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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This site was last updated 01/10/09


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