This blog is a way of sharing the information and resources that have helped me to recover my son Roo from an Autism Spectrum Disorder. What I have learned is to view our symptoms as the results of underlying biological cause, which can be identified and healed. I say "our symptoms" because I also have a neuro-immune disorder called Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.

And, of course, I am not a doctor (although I have been known to impersonate one while doing imaginative play with my son)- this is just our story and information that has been helpful or interesting to us. I hope it is helpful and interesting to you!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Springtime in More Ways Than One

Today was a beautiful early spring day. The weather is beginning to warm up, and the days are getting longer. It feels as though the earth itself is waking up from winter and coming alive with renewed energy. If my life were a movie, this would be a clever metaphor for the "waking up" that our family is doing after a long, dark winter, which began about the time that Roo was 18 months old. During that time our family's world shrank to being not much larger than our home and immediate surroundings. maintaining any semblance of a "normal life" with a child with ASD was more of a challenge than we were capable of. Things we had previously taken for granted, such as having friends over for dinner, became daunting and exhausting. We withdrew from most extra-familial activities and relationships and essentially crawled under a rock.

Roo's disorder, and how to heal him, became the focus of my life to the exclusion of nearly all else. I lost touch with many friends because I had nothing to talk about aside from Roo's latest challenge or my most recent internet findings regarding how to treat him. Other people were going on with their lives, but mine had come to a standstill. I felt very alone during this time- without a diagnosis, it was hard to find a community where we fit in. I have revisited the debate many times regarding the positives and negatives of labels for our children, but for now I will say that a label can be like a road sign giving needed direction. I longed for a sense of commonality with someone. Our family had become isolated in so many ways.

Roo is now approaching his 6th birthday, and in the last several months, this fog of isolation has been lifting. His progress has been so significant that we are able to get out of our house more and take part in the bigger world. Now that we are having sunny days I try to get us all outside to get sunlight on our skin, and while I stand there with my arms out willing myself to make vitamin D I find myself also feeling the warmth of hope and joy for Roo's future. The world outside our home so recently felt alien and inaccessible to us, but now it feels full of wonder and possibility.