This posting was submitted from a mother who wants to share her story . This item was emailed to this blog--AR
Zach Wendorf -12 years old - Park Ridge, IL
Zach was born November 14, 1994, he was the fourth born of my children. I gave birth easily and was proud that I did not need any anesthesia. All seemed well and I was especially happy with how well Zach took to nursing and sleeping, life could not have been any better. I was a happy mother of four!
At two months of age I took my healthy son to have his DPT immunization as recommended by the CDC. Shortly after, he developed difficulty feeding and sleeping. Zach also began getting many colds and ear infections, in addition, he was diagnosed with reflux. Many rounds of antibiotics for the 12 ear infections he had between 2 and 10 months old became the usual. When he was 10 months his ENT recommended tube surgery for his ears, we gladly agreed, hoping to alleviate his suffering. Zach continued having feeding problems and would cry for hours because of his gas pains, we tried many medications but nothing seemed to help. Constipation soon became a major problem along with sinus infections, asthma and more antibiotics.
Zach's motor skills (crawling and walking) were slow to develop along with a delay in his language. At 3 years of age Zach had sinus surgery and shortly after began to speak. Obsessive thoughts and behavior were more apparent when Zach stared telling about the scary voices inside his head telling him to do bad things. He was very active and did poorly at preschool where he displayed poor attention, hyper activity and social withdrawal. I had to use a car seat inside the house to keep him contained and safe if I had to leave a room or use the bathroom. I had a difficult time taking him out of the house because of his tantrums, especially while at the grocery store. My marriage was stressed to the brink, and in addition, the needs of my other children's were put on the back burner because of the constant care Zach required. He limited his food choices to only about 3 things, which he ate large quantities of those foods. Zach spent the majority of his days rocking back and forth with the vacuum in his hand, totally withdrawn into his own world, unwilling to interact with us any longer. At three and a half he was diagnosed with Aspergers's syndrome and shortly after with a seizure disorder.
Shortly before Zach's fourth birthday I heard a doctor speak about dietary interventions for autistic children and decided to try the GF/CF diet he spoke of. Within days Zach was like a different child, he was calm, connected and aware, the change was so dramatic we felt we were getting the real Zach back. The obsessive behavior decreased, as did the scary thoughts and the hyper activity. Zach was no longer withdrawn in his own world; he now wanted interaction with people. My days were now consumed with cooking for Zach's special diet, and taking him to his Occupational, Speech and Physical therapy.
Through testing we found Zach was low in almost every mineral and vitamin and that he also was allergic to many foods. We began supplementation with vitamins and minerals as well as many therapies. The positive changes continued as we discovered more about the involvement of the immune system, the gut and the brain in autism. With the help of many on-line sites and groups and including the help of some very knowledgeable doctors, we were able to treat the many areas of Zach's health. I continued to educate myself about autism and attended the autism conference in Chicago where I heard Dr. Usman speak. She became Zach's new autism doctor and we began many new therapies including chelation therapy, B12 injections, anti-fungal as well as anti-virals and I am thrilled to say that this process has continued to help Zach recover from autism. We have also purchased our own portable hyperbaric oxygen chamber and Zach undergoes almost daily treatments. I am very grateful to all the wonderful and devoted doctors, especially Dr. Usman, and to the many parents who have led the fight against autism and the path to recovery from it.