It has been a month since we’ve received Grayson’s official diagnosis and one month since we’ve started to aggressively implement some healing strategies through therapy, diet and supplements. We have definitely witnessed some awesome gains and continue to see new improvements in his speech and social skills just about every day. But there are also days when I feel his “tics” are far more noticeable to me. Honestly, I think I just let it get to me more on those days and I let those little imperfections out shadow the incredible progress we’ve seen so far.
So to recap where we are at on his healing plan, these are the things we have started doing over the past month:
- Speech therapy once a week
- Occupational therapy once a week
- Gluten Free / Casein Free diet
- DHA (fish oil) supplement
- Probiotic (he’s always been on probiotics though)
- Eliminated soy
- Increased fats
There are still a handful of supplements I want to try, but truth be told, I’m taking a low and slow approach. I want to gradually add in more and see what (if any) is making a difference.
We still have not had our consult with the MAPS doctor I mentioned in my previous post; however, I did speak with his regular doctor about ordering a blood test to test for the MTHFR gene mutation. If you are unfamiliar with this, you can read more about it here, but basically, it could be an underlying factor if his body is unable to detoxify. His doctor was very receptive and said we can easily get both boys tested, which was great to hear.
But let’s move on to Grayson’s gains because it’s certainly worth celebrating!
Grayson’s eye contact has significantly improved, not just with John and I, but others as well. His therapist told me last week that it used to take effort sometimes to get him to focus and anymore, it’s becoming easy. There are still times when we have to work to get him to focus on us, particularly when he’s doing something he shouldn’t and we are trying to explain to him why he shouldn’t be, but when he is engaged in motivated play, he has absolutely no trouble sharing eye contact, smiles and laughs.
His speech is also improving little by little. I’ve noticed a huge increase in his babbling, where now it has become conversational with me. Before, he would just make noises or babble to himself, but now, he is walking up to me, looking me in the eyes and trying to talk to me. He’s still not forming words all of the time, but the manner in which he conveys his speech has drastically improved. He still uses a handful of words on a daily basis and signs to get things he needs or wants, but he’s been finding new ways to communicate with us like taking our hand and pulling us when he wants us to come, or reaching/pointing to what he wants when we give him options. Not that he didn’t used to do this, but his consistency is getting so much better.
Imitation was a skill that we’ve been working on for awhile now and probably one of the hardest ones we’ve endured. Grayson has always wanted to do his own thing and has never really taken interest in doing something someone else’s way until recently. A few weeks ago, I sat on the floor with him and tried to have him imitate counting dice with me. I was amazed that he picked it up right away, and this was after an entire year of trying to get him to count with us. He’s also been repeating other’s play more and more, which is so cool to finally see.
Grayson’s overall mood has just become more at ease. He has always been such a joyful little boy, but he often became stressed in situations where he wasn’t understood. I think since the communication is getting easier for him, he’s naturally becoming less stressed. The way he is interacting with others is also so much different. Now, when new people come to the door, he runs to greet them. He used to be very anxious around my dad and not want to engage with him at all, and now, he is playing with him as if he always has and showing him so much love and affection lately. He has grown fond of both of his therapist and rather than reverting to putting his only attention on me and ignoring them when they are there like he did at the beginning, he now barely notices when I back off and his so much more engaged with them.
We’ve been getting such positive and encouraging reports from the people who work with him. They see so much potential in his growth and have commented that his improvement just in the past month has been so impressive to see.
While we have so much hope that Grayson will win this battle, I also know this journey does not happen overnight. We still have many moments of frustration and questioning and I’d be lying if I said I even have brief moments of doubt. Truth be told, this entire process is overwhelming in so many ways. I wish I could just look inside this little one and see exactly what needs fixed so I can better help him. There are hundreds of ideas and approaches people take to try and help their children; and while I know every child is different and every treatment is different, I find myself wanting to try just about anything if I know it will help him. But that’s the thing, I don’t know for sure what will help him other than investing in his growth, supporting his gains and setbacks, and loving him unconditionally throughout it all.
Grayson is truly one incredible little boy and no matter what, I am honored to take part in this experience with him. He is teaching me so much every single day and continues to remind me what’s important in life. I can’t imagine our life any other way.