|Testimony - Our history|
|Issues - Issue #0|
|Written by Cláudia Dias|
|Thursday, 16 September 2010 17:22|
by Cláudia Dias
My name is Claudia T. Dias and I am a proud mom of a handsome 9-year old autistic boy. People say autism chooses the moms and I feel I have been chosen …
When I was 23 years old, I really wanted to have a child, after all I was happily married, and what else could make me happier than having a child? But years went by and I couldn’t; ending up doing pregnancy tests every single week. Then, when I reached 27 – I confess I had given up being a mother – life got me by surprise when I did a pregnancy test, because my husband asked me to do it, and so: positive! My child was born sound, and I could hardly wait to take him at home…
But four days later I had him committed to intensive care because he lost 400g and could have a cardiac arrest, malnutrition was the problem and he was not eating. But that has passed and Ricardo had a good recovery. One week later we were back at home. Ricardo was a very difficult baby. Sleep patterns never came and he spent days having only a liquid diet. Solid food was a problem due to constant vomits. Vaccination was due and there we went, as responsible parents. From that point on, he started to run high fevers that came and went without any warning. My guts told me not to vaccinate him anymore and I postponed the second shot – MMR: Measles, Mumps and Rubella (German Measles) – as much as I could, until the time I could not bear weekly warnings sent by UK government office to our home in Cambridge. And there we went. When Ricardo reached three years old, he took the second shot. Few days later, my boy stopped talking… more and more, he became introspective, quiet and having seizures. His nannies started refusing my invitations to baby sit him (they used to say it was not possible to baby sit him and other kids at the same time), consequently, Ricardo has gone from one nanny to another one. Then, we register him on kindergarten and the problems continued, he became aggressive and every week I had to talk to the support people, recommending them to take Ricardo to the physician. By then, everything was an issue with Ricardo and I felt I was the worst mother in the world.
My son was enrolled on a school and problems re-started a week later. For the first time I heard the word “autism”, which was confirmed later by the psychiatrist at school. On that day, I have no idea how I got home or what happened. My entire world has gone into pieces, my boy; the love of my life (as I call him) had something with no cure. He would never do this or that and, to tell you the truth, I no longer listened to what the psychiatrist was saying after he said the word “autism”.
There are mothers who say they experience relief when a diagnosis is made, but that did not happen to me. I felt l was hit by a wave of cold water, and recovered from it one year later, to see my son loosing long acquired abilities. He had to go back to diapers when he was 7 (he was off by the age of 4) and that was the last straw that broke the camel's back. He was not being monitored by any physician, and in my despair, I was going, without even noticing, to the abyss of impotence.
But the Discussion Lists on the internet, such as “Autismo Tratamento” – Autism Treatment -and “Autismo Esperança” – Autism Hope - changed all that for us and became my inspiration. SGSC diet (gluten and casein free), biomedical treatment, hydro and hypo therapy got me my son back, and integration via senses, RDI and speech therapy also helped us.
I decided to quit my job to dedicate myself to my son, and psychology graduation was a natural step to take.
Continuous progress has been noticed, so much that there is not enough room here to list it, but the most recent is the fact that Ricardo regained his speech ability, which is proper for a 9-year old boy; after numerous performance reports, stating his underachievement, for such a long time. This was very good news, but what makes me very happy is to know he is a happy child today. We are a happy family, autism provided us another “ethos” (Greek word that means way of life), brought us closer together and made us stronger. Our path is not the fast one, but we are on the right track.