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Autism Recovery is Not for the Faint of Heart

Posted Feb 03 2010 12:00am
Thank-you-hard-work By J.B. Handley
Soon after my son’s autism diagnosis, my wife and I were receiving advice from a DAN! Doctor helping our son. Transdermal glutathione and something very smelly called TTFD were prescribed, and we were told to rub each of these creams on his skin every night.
“How long do we need to do this for?” I asked.
“Six months, maybe a year,” came the doctor’s reply.
“A year? Are you kidding?”
I couldn’t believe it, what an inconvenience!
Those of you who are biomed veterans are already smiling. Five years later, I see the world a little differently, and I have this to say to all parents battling autism:
This job of recovery ain’t for the faint of heart.
Yup, I know it’s coming, parents who will complain and say that somehow I am blaming parents who don’t try hard enough for their child’s ongoing autism. I’m not. Really. Autism is a huge challenge. We all do the best we can…
Some people’s “best” just happens to be better than other people’s “best” -- and that’s the damn truth.
Let me put it to you a different way. I’ve met a number of parents who recovered their children. They share many common traits, the same kinds of traits that employers tend to love: they think outside the box, they’re resourceful, they fight like hell. And, they never give up. Even, perhaps, when they should have.
To a person, they are fighters. To a person, they are outside the box thinkers. I’m sorry if you don’t like what I’m saying, but, again, it’s just the truth.
Here’s another guarantee: fighting like hell and thinking outside the box and never giving up doesn’t mean your child will recover. But, it sure as hell raises the odds.
I’ve heard parents say, “I tried biomed.” The devil remains in the details. I always ask the same question, “How long did you try it for and what did you do.” I have found, nearly to a person, that the people who claim they “tried” biomed did very little for a very short period of time. The wanted a magic bullet, they didn’t find one, and they moved on. Does that somehow mean the rest of us shouldn’t keep fighting?
To read Liane Kupferberg Carter’s piece HERE in the New York Times  is to come face to face with one of these parents I’m talking about. Her article, titled “Cure Du Jour” is a cynic’s paradise for justifying non-action in treating autism.
She writes:
It’s distressing and hurtful to hear McCarthy say her son is cured because she “was willing to do what it took.” McCarthy, who describes herself as one of a tribe of “warrior moms,” seems to imply that if our kids are unrecovered, it’s because we didn’t do the diet right, weren’t willing to let doctors inject our children with unproven drugs, or somehow just didn’t love our children enough…I don’t doubt that McCarthy loves her son. But the vast majority of our kids are not going to be cured. It’s time for the media to stop giving airtime to celebrities with no medical credentials who peddle unrealistic hopes to families dealing with a devastating diagnosis.

My first reaction to Ms. Carter? I say grow up and quit crying. You made your bed, deal with it. If you’re happy for the way you dealt with your son’s autism, you wouldn’t be writing this article. On a level, you just want us all to go away. I get it.
Something in my son’s body is not right. Five years of biomed, and I all I see is improvement. I’m sorry that in the year you claim to have used biomed that you didn’t see enough to keep going. I did and I have. I’m a fighter, and so is the beautiful woman I married. When it’s my time to take the dirt nap, the only thing I really care about is that I can look in the mirror and say I never, ever stopped fighting for my son. When he looks in my eyes, he tells me the same thing.
Keep fighting, parents. Don’t blame yourself for what you haven’t done. Just get up off the floor, wipe away the tears, pull the knife out of your heart for a moment, and keep swinging. It’s never too late, and you just may land the perfect punch.

J.B. Handley is Co-Founder of Generation Rescue.

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