Rhonda shares her story about her son's health and behavioral issues that traditional doctors chalked up to Autism.
A little Background
Over the last 22 years I have learned to read labels on foods and ask restaurants "what ingredients do you use to make X on your menu?" The reason why is that my son used to react behaviorally to chemicals and additives found in the typical American diet. It took us quite some time to figure this out because we associated his behaviors to having autism. However, my learning days were (and are not) over when I learned to read labels. In addition to food, Zachary also reacted to chemicals found in cleaning products, perfumes and medications.
When Zach transitioned from elementary school to middle school, he behaviors became worse. Looking back, if Zach had had language and could shout obscenities at us, we would have related his behaviors to hormones. Unfortunately, it was seen as a symptom of his autism and, therefore, medications were prescribed to “control” his behaviors. I thought I was doing the right thing. And at the time, based on my knowledge, I was.
“Do the best you can with what you know, when you learn more, do better.”
The above quote has become a quote I have commonly referenced throughout the years and I hope you will, too. We are good people. We want what is best for ourselves and our families. No one intentionally makes decisions to harm ourselves. We are just doing the best we can with what we know.
The Hard Road Ahead
Throughout middle school and high school, Zachary continued to have behavioral issues. He rarely got a full night of sleep without waking up. He began developing skin infections that would not go away without antibiotics. He had increased anxiety and had difficulty staying in one place… and the doctors continued adding or increasing his medication doses.
During the summer of 2012, I spent my days in survival mode to keep Zach safe. His behaviors had significantly gotten worse, along with his anxiety and OCD. He rarely sat down. He slept maybe one hour a night. After about 6 weeks of no sleep, he started hallucinating and became a danger to himself and those around him. He had lost about 35 pounds and something had to change.
So, I took him to the hospital and refused to leave until they would admit us. It was unsafe for me to continue giving the medications prescribed to him. I wanted him detoxed safely off those medications. It took two days to be admitted because no doctor on staff would take our case. He was finally admitted to the adult psychiatry ward where he stayed for a week. It was during this time period, I decided I was done with medical doctors. I was going to learn how to heal my son myself through nutrition and Eastern medicine.
Our Journey to Healing
I began this journey to healing by applying to a one-year program with the Institute of Integrative Nutrition to become a Health Coach. During this year, I met a chiropractic doctor named Kristy Harvell. Through Nutrition Response Testing ®, Kristy was able to determine what what organ systems were stressed and what nutritional support was needed to help Zachary heal. This was major for us because Zach is non-verbal. He can’t tell us “that makes me feel worse” or “when I eat X, I feel sick.” Nutrition Response Testing® became Zachary’s voice in letting us know how he was feeling and what nutritional support he needed to heal. Today, Zachary continues to heal and continues to follow a nutrition program created using Nutrition Response Testing®. His quality of life continues to improve each day.
I wanted to understand what Dr. Kristy was doing with Zach and how it worked so I became a nutritional patient myself. I continued to be intrigued and wanted to learn more so I attended a one-day workshop offered in Buffalo, NY. This was the day I decided I was going to learn how to use Nutrition Response Testing® in my own clients. With my nursing and holistic health coaching background, I was accepted into an Advanced Clinical Training program with Ulan Nutritional Systems, Inc. in Clearwater, Florida.
It is my dream to help other women regain their health and the health of their children for for future generations.