Instinct & learning curves
Before we ever knew the diagnosis of Autism. I've come to believe that instinct is one of the best gifts we're given in this life and we should use it. As Dan and I are going through these various courses for parents dealing with Non-Verbal ASD children we're realizing that out of instinct we've been doing the things were learning now, with Piper. We've instinctually done the people games, the social pieces, pushing her to try and ask for items (stopping her from the grunt), but one of the best things I've realized we've done and I think its the most important thing (ASD or not) is we've always let our daughter be herself. We never forced dolls or other items on to her that we felt she should play with because other kids her age were or because society says she should. When beans, sticks, and balls made her happy, well, it was beans, sticks, & balls we'd get her. (Heck she's a cheap date) Another love of Piper's is our dog Jersey who is 35kg (70lbs) and is a beautifully bred MastiDane. For some reason these two have always seemed to just get each other. Perhaps its the fascination of objects and balls that has brought them to become best of friends. Jersey and Piper complement one another very well, the dog we once questioned may not be good with children, has become a natural mother. I remember our midwife coming to give Piper a check up at our house and as soon as Piper would cry, in charges Jersey to Pipers side, growling at the midwife, probably giving her quite a fright. Yup, from the beginning these two have been close!
When we started this journey through the spectrum, Piper had regressed after turning 12 months old and had hardly any vocabulary left. Where she once said "DADA" at 7 months she was no longer able. With the only options we currently have is hours and hours of therapy working with Piper to learn basic skills we decided to look in to a homeopathic option as well to incorporate with hours of working with her. We've started her on this vitamin and mineral combination that my dad found, the medical studies and trials were absolutely amazing...which to someone like me meant - probably bogus. I've always been a skeptic at heart, so, before we started this natural route trying to help our daughter we gave it to Piper's doctor to look over. I wanted to make sure that given her age, there wasn't something we were overlooking in this natural supplement. He gave us the "all clear" and stated that everything included in the vitamin was fine for her to take and essentially was good for everyone to take as it has the necessary ingredients to help support overall brain health and functionality. Currently, they are in capsule form so we're opening them and mixing it in yogurt to give to her. Lucky for us, the texture hasn't bothered her. Piper has now been on this vitamin for about 4 weeks and already we're seeing a decrease in her tantrums and she's paying more attention to us when we speak to her, so I no longer feel as ignored. She's also attempting to talk, something that we haven't seen her do in over a year!! Most of all she's now referring to me vocally and has mastered "Mama" a word that I never thought I'd hear her say. We have a long journey ahead of us, but, we're up for the challenge! We hope to defy the odds of the medical community and find a natural way to help daughter overcome the silence of Autism and lead a normal life.
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Erika & Dan Harvey
A blog about our journey through the spectrum with our daughter Piper. Enjoy and feel free to share with others.