I realize now that I started this blog and CEASE not really knowing what I was getting myself into, which set us into motion on an evolving path. I did months of reading and research in preparation for starting CEASE. I prepared a ridiculously thorough account of all our emotional and physical injuries that could possibly have attributed to my child's condition for our new HP. I had a list of questions prepared. Essentially, I had my feet in the water for months before I decided to dive in to the pool.
I am still learning.
To round out Autism Awareness Month, I want to address those of you that have come here because you are considering CEASE, maybe you just started, or you are looking for something and you don't know what it is. Here's what I have to say to you, from my heart...
This shit is hard. This may be the hardest thing you have or will ever have done. When I say 'shit', I mean any recovery therapy in general. Not only is it hard, but it's scary. It's scary to let go of every thing conventional that you thought you knew. It's scary to learn how toxic our environment is. It's scary to learn just how compromised our children are. It's simply going to be the hardest and scariest shit you may ever do in your life... next to fighting in a war.
But, this is a different kind of war. This is a war against our environment. Our government doesn't seem to care or understand what could be intoxicating us to the point that our children are growing up in an environment that has literally scrambled their brains. The autism community is significantly split between those that still believe autism is only psychological, and others like me who believe autism is a medical condition that can be treated by restoring the natural balance of our children's bodies. And, then there is the general public, who really have NO CLUE what is happening to our children. I ended up here writing this, because I was once one of those people who had NO CLUE.
It's been right around a year and a half since we started CEASE. From what I can tell, with 3 vaccines nearly down, we are about half way there with no determined end in sight. There have been ups and there have been downs. The downs are really bad. I know I've moped on this blog about it enough. I struggle through each clearing with Jonah. It effects me. His moods effect me. When he is aggravating during a clear, expressing physical, emotional and mental distress, it makes me feel sick and depressed. While I am trying to handle his rage, and remaining patient myself, and working through the explosive tantrums, and balancing discipline, and making sure he doesn't do anything that could be dangerous to himself, I feel sick. I can only imagine how he is feeling if I feel as crappy as I do. Trying to figure out what is causing the aggravations, trying to help the aggravations, trying to calm and soothe and maintain a structured environment at home and in the outside world that is supportive to him is a constant job.
I'll also give you fair warning, nothing is scarier than the fevers, rashes, and other physical symptoms that can occur. Conventional wisdom would have you just give tylenol, advil, benadryl, or put a steroid cream on it. But... not on CEASE. On CEASE, you are supposed to ride it out, and be ready to jump if something is significantly wrong. You will be on pins and needles the entire time because of fear that the physical signs could be an indication of something worse, so you will want to make sure you are working with a CEASE practitioner that you can rely on and trust. Of course there are natural and homeopathic remedies that can be used to help ease these physical signs, but it's scary not to do what you have always thought was okay to do.
For us, physical aggravations have mainly been rashes, which have subsided after completing the DTaP clearing. Not before he was sent home from school last year because they suspected it was impetigo. He is still feeling itchy, but his skin doesn't rip like lace the second he scratches it anymore. I've actually noticed that his complexion seems a bit darker, although I don't have an explanation for that. Jonah has always been super fair. We refer to his complexion as translucent since you can see his veins. I know in homeopathy, this is silica, but we have not treated it with a silica remedy. Since removing gluten from his diet and starting the Hib clearing, the veins seem less noticeable on parts of his body. He could also just be getting tan.
On the positive side of CEASE, there are the moments that make it all worth it. The gains that have developed for us with CEASE are slow and consistent. The gains emerge gradually, until suddenly you notice that your child is bonding with peers and sharing stories with you about his/her day. Suddenly, they are playing with toys appropriately, using imagination. Suddenly, they are able to tell you they love you unprompted. If I only ever heard that one time, it would make it all worth it. Luckily Jonah says it frequently now, but there are parents out there who have never been able to hug their children, or kiss their children, or expect to hear 'I love you' because of autism.
There is more to CEASE than just homeopathy. You will need to clean house, removing all those elements that could possibly cause risk for exposure to environmental toxins such as beauty products, cleaning products, and plastics. You will need to clean up the diet and throw out the microwave. You will need to be careful to think about how everything could impact your child's development, which will make you slightly paranoid and neurotic (like me). You will be forced to learn about all the garbage we are exposed to on a daily and consistent basis from the air we breath, to the water we drink, to the food we eat. This is a new level of self-concsiousness.
Here is where I am in my evolving thoughts regarding autism. I liken the debate on autism to a game of 'Pin the Tale on the Donkey.' Everyone wants to stick their pin on it in just one place, and say that it's right. "It's the MMR shot!" or "It's vaccines." or "It's Antibiotics."or "My child was chosen to be special by God." In the mean time, no one has taken a step back and looked at the entire jack-ass system. The toxic load that has become a physical burden to those becoming parents transfers from the parents to the child. Our children inherit their toxic load from us. As this toxic load continues to build generationally, we will continue to see these health deficiencies increase. The rate of increase over the past few decades is just the starting point, as demonstrated by the rapid increases in prevalence that we have seen just in the last 5 years. I find this similar scenario more and more in my reading and research, and it just makes sense to me.
If the rate of autism and developmental disabilities in our children isn't enough to convince a person that a sickness is consuming us as a culture, perhaps we should consider some other health issues that have been increasing. Let's take a look at Alzheimer's and other dementias. I liken it to autism for the elderly. Not only is prevalence increasing at a rapid rate, with younger on-set, but according to conventional medicine, there is also no known reason why there has been such an increase. Did you know that Alzheimer's mortality rates have risen 68% in a decade? Did you know that 1 in 3 Americans will die from this?
Our children are literally losing their minds, and our elderly are losing their minds. See a trend? What happens to the body when it gets old? It's less likely to detoxify substances that have accumulated over time, thus building to a level of toxicity that causes neurological damage to the brain. This is very similar to what happens to our children, because their tiny bodies are not always best prepared to handle the toxicity we subject them to. It's overload. The vaccines, antibiotics, prescription medications, GMO seeds, processed foods, fluoride and chlorine in the water, hormone disruptors in our make-up, carcinogens in our lotions, etc. are all just a catalyst that sets it off.
After being a witness to perseverating for the past few weeks at a grand scale, I can tell you the behavior pattern is very similar to behaviors that are often demonstrated in Alzheimer's patients. Jonah has been obsessed with past events (mostly 'bad choices') trying to replicate them while in a tantrum. I call it a tantrum, but it's really those moments that my child becomes removed from himself, and starts making irrational choices because he can't help it. He knows better than to throw glass jars, but he can't help laughing about it, talking about it, and going so far as to try it again. He talks about these things constantly. He says the same thing over and over again, and when I try to ignore it, he has repeated it countless times and is now screaming that line at me until he is acknowledged. What likens Jonah's perseverating behavior to Alzheimer's for me, is the level of recall. He doesn't focus on things that happened yesterday. When I question him about yesterday, he will answer my question with a list of 'bad choices' he made 18 months ago. It's like he is mentally stuck in that time frame for moment. I've seen this similar behavior in the couple people with Alzheimer's that I have known.
There is an overall decline in health, despite every medical advancement in research that has been achieved. People are getting sicker, with rarer illnesses become more prevalent. While England is in an uproar over the measles outbreak and attributing it to a higher rate of unvaccinated children, personally, I think they should be worried about the illnesses that are actually shortening life expectancies at much higher rates. I read recently that autistic children have 1/2 the life expectancy of a nuero-typical child. To that I say "Over my dead body".
I know CEASE won't work for everyone, but CEASE has been amazing for us. Just this weekend, Jonah demonstrated several gains, from imaginative play and new expressions. He actually asked my sister if she was excited to go to the baseball game today. I know that doesn't sound like much to some, but for us, it is huge. He has never asked anyone anything like that I know of. He has never told me he was pretending to make a soup with his bath toys before this weekend either. He has never spent hours drawing at our kitchen table like he did this weekend, creating little word monsters by writing out the words he knows and drawing little faces on them. These are the cute, normal things that a kid his age should be doing, that he hasn't been able to do. Now he can in part because of CEASE.
When we started CEASE, I knew no one else like me. There were people out there, but they weren't in the autism community I was previously a part of. You know, that conventional medicine community that just gives you a diagnosis and points you toward the door. On the other side of that door are the parents who look at you with shame because you can't just accept your child's condition. This is the older generation of autism parents. Now, there is a younger, newer, rebellious generation of autism parents searching for answers. If autism was cancer, would you just accept it or go down fighting for your child's life?
CEASE has really only just begun to emerge, and there are more families trying it. There are support groups, filled with parents who are willing to try anything, fighting tooth and nail to save their children. While some of them have moved on from CEASE, there are other methods of therapy that they are finding effective. The resources that are developing are endless. The one thing that we see working that these alternative therapies all have in common... restoring a natural balance to the body.
I'm not a doctor, nor a scientist, nor a practitioner of any kind, so I can't tell you what to do here. Instead, I share with you my opinions that have been formed from extensive research and I hope they lead you on your way to searching for answers. Make sure you ask questions in your search. And once you have completed your search for answers, keep searching for answers.
Most of all, follow your heart.