Zachary Today...

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Note:  Right mouse click on the image below and select "View Image" to enlarge these pictures and see the "very real story they are telling"...make sure you read notes below pictures, too!

Zachary - Age 7 (almost 8)

   

Zachary is just completing his second grade curriculum (home schooled).   My biggest challenge is keeping him focused.  If I'm not right there with him, he has a very difficult time "moving on" with his work even though he knows the answers.   He is very intelligent and has a fantastic memory.  He enjoys learning new things... like cursive writing.   That "all or nothing" is still there though in so many things... he did not like "mixing" lowercase and uppercase letters... wanted them one way or another... until I told him letters are just like trucks that can be mixed up... sometimes they have small wheels on the front and big wheels on the back and letters are just the same...      I took him to the zoo recently... he enjoyed seeing all the animals.   When Zachary was 2 years old, we had taken him to the Brookfield Zoo near Chicago and Zachary couldn't even see the elephant just in front of him because he was so busy focusing on a squirrel twirling a nut just by the stroller.   The "spinning nut" had taken all his attention and made him miss the obvious just in front of him.   Thus, it is truly nice to see him enjoying the animals now.   We have 3 dogs and a cat and he loves them too.   By the end of our day at the zoo, I could see he had enough and was ready to go as his attention was no longer on the animals...although the black bear stuck in a tree was very captivating to him :o)  ...  After 3 hours, it was time to go home... with autism, you have to always keep in mind "how much is enough" and take your cues from the child.   Zachary still likes to wear his earmuffs in loud, strange places... but most of the time, he has them off...

Zachary also adores his older sister and loves to play with her.   She has truly been a blessing in his life.   Zachary has also discovered "other children" at the playground and is finally initiating wanting to play with them.

For more on Zachary's progress - especially as it relates to speech development, etc., I encourage you to read the 4 books I have written and posted in full on this website.   Book 4 is on language specifically and I think parents will find that one especially informative in helping to develop speech in these children.   Book 3 and the paper on  Redefining The Role of Insulin (implications for metal toxicity) are also "must reads" for those interested in understanding the issues.   Posted June 17, 2005

Zachary  - Age 7 (Jan. 2005)

 

 Note:  Right mouse click on the image below and select "View Image" to enlarge these pictures and see the "very real story they are telling"...make sure you read notes below pictures, too!

Picture 1:    Zachary after renovating of our home in Illinois.   This picture was taken after a complete overhaul of our home...there were up to five teams of various contractors at our home for close to 3 weeks...Zachary had no routine whatsoever...he was fascinated by all the activity...and he thrived more than ever!  We literally had packed all our belongings (to move) and lived in our basement for 3 weeks.    Our entire home was repainted, all carpeting on two floors replaced, all windows washed, our double deck power washed and stained, all squeaks were removed from floors, the entire kitchen sub-flooring and linoleum replaced, etc.  In addition, people were constantly coming over to "view our home" for close to a month.  Again, in spite of the total lack of routine, and disruption in our "daily lives",  Zachary absolutely thrived!

Picture 2:    Zachary in his "Be Patient...God Isn't Finished With Me Yet" t-shirt (my favorite).   This was the shirt he was wearing when he broke his arm in June 2001...the doctors had to cut it to pieces to get it off.  :o(

Picture 3:    Zachary on his 4th birthday (August 12, 2001).

Again, note alertness and lack of red cheeks/ears...overall, a much happier child!

In picture 1 above, Zachary is shown "pretending" to be a clown... he "pretends" a lot of things now... a sure sign of progress... Also, note again alertness in both pictures 1 and 2 above.  Finally,

Zachary is much better about not having to align all his pencils...he still likes to stack things (picture 2), but can cope much better when they "tip over".   In picture 3, Zachary is at his computer.   What is important in this picture is the small bouquet of flowers.   This was the first time Zachary actually kept the flowers "intact" for a short period of time.   Prior to this, he always ripped the flowers off the stems and made a stack of flowers and a stack of stems...to him, that was order.   Approximately 10 minutes after this picture was taken, the flowers were "pulled apart" from their stems... but, at least, this time, it had taken 10 minutes... progress...slowly, but surely!

 

(Zachary on his 5th birthday  - Aug. 12, 2002)

I still see Zachary as recovering, but he is making good progress.   He still isn't potty trained (at age 5) - that has been very difficult for him in spite of my trying everything...the videos, the songs, the games, etc.   I've probably spent hundreds of hours trying to get him potty trained.   I figure he'll eventually get the hang of it.  He understands the concept - he just has no desire to perform this function...but, he knows the videos and sings the songs!  At the end August 2002, I believed I may have come up with the "trick to this one"...  see section on Potty Training.

Zachary continues to be on a casein free, gluten free and very low phenol diet.   He now only takes a cfgf multivitamin (as opposed to the "mega dose vitamins).  He is no longer on TMG (interestingly, actual conversation seemed to flourish once TMG was removed), nor is he on cranberry extract.   I now use grapefruit seed extract  instead... much cheaper and, in my opinion, more effective.    He  is also on digestive enzymes that help break down those proteins he can not properly break down on his own.   See New Things In The Treatment Of The Autistic.   I also use about 7-8 times the probiotic dose I once used... based on suggestions from other parents who were doing this to control yeast issues.   I know he suffers from recurring yeast infections, but, they don't seem as severe as in the past.  His stress levels have gone down tremendously.   His overall vision (eye contact) and hearing issues are much better also.  The one thing I will be trying this year are supplements aimed specifically at healing his intestinal wall.  I no longer give Zachary cod liver oil since he suffered what I believed to be a very severe reaction to it (and possibly mercury in it)... and he is finally showing an interest in books!  :o)  For more, see Journal on Zachary's Progress!

Kirkman Labs, the maker of Zachary's supplements, recently put a free book on their web site called:  Guide To Intestinal Health In Autism Spectrum Disorder.   This book is free for downloading for anyone who is interested.   You can get to it from my main web page by clicking onto the Kirkmanlabs.com link or by going to the Yahoo Group for Mercury and Autism (I believe they have it in their files also). 

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