Zach & Jack

Listening to the Autism Canada live stream and marveling at the inability to separate the challenges between Zach & Jack. Yes, very different but at the same time connected?

The first talk at the conference was about the mitochondrial DNA dysfunction. I'm astounded that we have so many strikes against us that could cause mitochondrial dysfunction...ie. ADD-Dave has ADD, schizophrenia-I have schizophrenia in my family and a history of allergies.

I marvel at the struggles that Jack has had in his first four years of life. Jack certainly doesn't have autism but we certainly have had our struggles. Please recognize the differences between Jack and Jack's body. It's pretty difficult to separate the vicious cycle between the allergies, the inflammation from the allergies, the pain, the lack of sleep from the pain, the hunger, the lack of absorption of important nutrients and the behaviour. It's a classic...chicken or egg question....which came first the behaviour or the pain?

Many children with autism have sleep issues, gut issues and allergies/food sensitivities as well as the speech delays, social challenges, sensitivities (including food textures, clothing textures, light, sound, etc.) and behavioral issues. Now Jack doesn't have the difficulty with eye contact, textures or diagnosed autism but he surely has a lot of the other issues that do not need to be present for the autism diagnosis. So I am completely amazed that at these conferences, I think of Jack just as much as Zach.

I am always thrilled to be given more strategies of ways we can help Jack. The conference gave me many ideas of how we can make Jack's gut healthier and rid of the bad stuff. I think better nutrition can be a good thing for all of us. It's just the challenge of doing the homework and getting things done when I'm already stretched pretty thin. We certainly could have a parent doing this stuff full time. So much to do, so little time.

I know that I touched on the surface of so many things without saying a whole lot about anything. I promise I will have more to come.