Chris Y Perez

Autism and special needs

Experts told me that nothing can be done about autism. They said that at best therapy “manages” autism.  

I had many questions but could not get satisfactory answers from the experts. If “better management” is the best that therapy can do, why did we have to pour out all our resources, finances, and time, including heartaches, to enroll my child in intensive early intervention programs? Why did Nathan regress? At the early age of 2, Nathan was able to say at least 50 words and even recognize word spelling. He sang beautiful nursery rhymes. However, he slowly regressed. What caused the regression? By age 4, he lost all his words and his songs slowly turned into rhythmless chants. He lost interest in people and was oblivious to everyone. Nathan also lost motor and cognitive skills illustrated by how he started to mouth the toys that he previously played with.

Our early years were spent on intensive therapies but no health interventions. Because of the severity of Nathan’s autism, I saw very little progress. If I noticed some improvements after 6 months of intensive therapy, I would wonder if it was the therapy or simply time that contributed to the small amount of progress.

More questions arose as Nathan’s demeanor changed. Why did my gentle boy start having explosive behaviors? At times he would just approach his sister and bite or pinch her. I had to try to anticipate Nathan’s aggression and get my other children to safety.   

I could not get answers from the experts. I had to do my research to find them. As I slowly answered my questions, addressed many digestive and nutrition issues. I scrutinized and narrowed down the therapies that we enrolled Nathan in.  Then Nathan began to progress! He started to speak and look at us again.  His health improved with corresponding cognitive gains. He is singing again. He is also physically stronger and uses equipment appropriately. Best of all, Nathan’s gentle demeanor returned. He has not hurt anyone in years and plays well with his sister.