September 20, 2004

Chelation - Round One goes to the Challenger!

Words cannot describe how much hope I feel right now. After his first round of DMSA, 5 days, Chandler has taken some giant steps back to the little boy he was during his first year.

His eye contact is amazing, not quite what a regular child does, but now he is in the ball park. He will stand in front of Scott and I and look back and forth at each of us until one of us responds and pays attention to him.

I have set a few mental benchmarks for him so that when I saw them I would know that he was getting better. One was the first time he would call me "mommy" which he did in June, the first day that he was given DMSA as part of the "chelation challenge" to see if he had any metal poisoning. Another that he has yet to pass is the day he calls his big brother by name, as he has never referred to him with anything other than a shove or the occasional laugh.

This week we passed a benchmark when my boy did something I have been waiting six months to see. Friday at speech therapy he pointed to something! The therapist pointed to a tiny picture of a butterfly, and Chan pointed and said, "Bufry"! Sunday at church we were waiting for the elevator and he pointed to the floor number and said, "One".

Saturday, my mom bought him new shoes and he was kinda rolling up on his toes feeling them out. My mom and I started jumping and saying, "jump" and he watched both of us for a minute or two and then joined in. Looking at us straight in the eye and saying, "jump" with a big smile on his face!

Sunday morning we were driving to church and Scott and I started singing this song that plays on Noggin to our older son. Really simple song, "open, close, open, close. Up and down and up and down. Hot dog, Hot dog. Yum, yum, yum. Clap, clap, clap." When we stopped, Chandler started singing! "Haaa daaaa, haaaa daaaa. claaa, claaa, claaa." We were totally stunned so we sang the song again and he repeated it!!! I practically wet myself.

The list goes on and on. He is calling me "mommy" almost as much as "ma, ma" now. He runs to the kitchen at least once a day and asks for an "apple".

Yesterday were at a birthday party and there was a guy in a big bear costume and he said, "bear". He has been saying "bear" today. He was playing on the slide and would go to the top, look at me with huge eyes and a giant smile that very clearly communicated, "Hey mom! Look at me!", then slide down and do the same at the bottom. "Mom! Did you see what I did!" He did it over and over.

I have read that many parents are completely thrilled at what they see when they start chelation on their autistic children, but still didn't think I would be this excited. I have reminded to try to temper my expectations a bit in case he does not continue to improve this dramatically, or in case he has a set back, but right now it is hard not to get my hopes up that this is a sign that he might fully recover.

Praise God for the blessing that He brought us this week.

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