Monday, October 29, 2007
Just to re-introduce myself, my name is Jessica Mustain and I work along side Ashley Reynolds doing research for the series Combating Autism from Within. My latest project has been compiling information on a family from Lawrence, KS that we went to interview this weekend.
The team of Ashley, Scott, Mark, and myself left Sunday afternoon and returned today (Monday the 29th). Our first stop was at the house where we interviewed Adam and the rest of his family. Right away we heard about the struggles that the family had faced with their decision to move to Kansas, from Nebraska, all to help Adam with his health and education.
Adam was VERY talkative and really knew his facts about his disorder and what his mother was doing to help inform people. I found it very interesting to hear Linda talk about the connection genetics played in Adams disorder along with his heavy mercury levels, that she claims are from vaccines.
In the basement of the house, the family has a sauna to help with Adam excrete toxins. Adam loves ninja turtles, batman, Nintendo, and anything a young boy would typically like. He was fun to be around and hardly had any outbursts until Monday morning when we followed him and his mother to his doctors appointment to have blood drawn.
At the doctors appointment Adam was uneasy and seemed in a completely different mood than from the night before. Right when we arrived, Linda told us that we were in for an entirely different side of him and that it hadn't been an good morning.
Inside the doctors office, Adam began getting nervous and really upset that we (as a crew) were filming him. There was one instance when he shouted for me (calling me by name) to stop filming him. This shocked me for a few minutes, not because he wanted me to stop filming, but because he remembered my name after only hearing it once the day before. Thats another amazing thing about Adam, he remembers names and dates like nobody's business!
He began getting his blood taken but after only 4 out of the 8 viles, his blood slowed from flowing and eventually stopped. Adam threw a tantrum but luckily the nurse said that there was enough blood and that he didn't have to "get stuck" again.
Linda told us that he was brave. There's no way I could sit through some of the things he goes through!
Overall, it was a great learning experience for me. I got to actually witness what a family goes through when one member has autism. It was truly amazing getting to spend a significant amount of time with the family and be able to talk to them on and off camera about our project.
I can't wait for you all to see this family's story in the series.