Mold Toxicity an Issue
My answer came from our occupational therapist, who told me about several children in a neighborhood near us by the beach with similar symptoms to Noah. All the parents on this street tested and found mold in their homes. When they remediated, removing the mold, their children’s health got better. Willing to try anything to get our son back, we hired a professional mold inspector to come into our home. As soon as he stepped inside, he told us he would not be needing his detecting dog as the mold was visible to the naked eye throughout the house. The mold was in the bathroom where we gave Noah his baths, in the kitchen where he ate his meals and most disturbing in the wall between the nursery and our master bedroom. We were renting a house by the beach, and we eventually learned that our landlord had some plumbing work done within a month of us moving in and that there had been an undetected leak. Noah was conceived shortly after moving in and may have been exposed to a high concentration of mold, possibly from conception until we found the mold at nineteen months. We had air and wall samples tested and found there was Aspergillus in his room and throughout the house.
Biomedical Treatment Started
At the same time all of this was going on, we began the process of working with a naturopath who was also a DAN! doctor specializing in biomedical treatment for children with autism. Overwhelmed with the idea of mold in our home, I failed to return her call to make an appointment for our initial consultation. Fortunately, she was persistent and personally called me while she was driving home from her cell phone. After learning about the mold, she strongly advised me to remove Noah from the house permanently. She said that she had worked with another family with a similar story, and the boy improved quickly and dramatically after removing him from what she referred to as the primary cause of his symptoms. We took her advice and first moved Noah’s crib from the nursery into the office. He was still having staring spells; an EEG would later confirm these as seizures. Within a week, we moved into a house further inland, unwilling to take our chances again near the coast.
Our naturopath tested Noah for mycotoxins, toxic chemical products produced by fungi, that can cause disease and even death. The test results showed ochratoxin in his urine, which is a mycotoxin derived from the Aspergillus fungi. Within a week of removing Noah from the host, he was more alert, making some eye contact and responding to his name. Removing the biggest toxic exposure he was faced with was the first step toward improving his development and allowed everything else we were doing to begin to work for the first time. Noah’s health and behaviors improved, and we were able to get a glimpse of the person he was meant to be.
Mold Contributed Significantly to Autism
The question I often receive is whether I believe the mold caused my son’s autism. I believe after seven years of removing layers and continuing to see real recovery that it was not necessarily one thing that made him sick. I believe that mold was the single largest contributor out of many environmental chemicals and toxins to my son’s autism. Removing the mold allowed us to begin to detox and heal him and eventually remove additional layers of toxins. With every treatment, we have been blessed to see even more recovery. After his diagnosis, we were told he may not have friends or play sports, and that we should focus on academics which our team at the time said would still be a challenge for him. Today, Noah is gifted academically, is respected by his peers as a good athlete, plays baseball, soccer, basketball and is beginning to surf. He has real friendships with the boys he plays sports with and is considered a leader amongst his friends. I honestly believe Noah would not be where he is today had we not done that initial mold inspection that started us on the path to real recovery.
Mold Inspection Paramount
My opinion is everyone should consider a home mold inspection if their child has chronic health concerns and is not responding to treatments. At the very least, it will give you peace of mind that your child is safe from mold if it is not present and allow you to move on to other possibilities. However, if there is mold, it will give you answers that will empower you to begin to take your child’s health back.
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Bennett, J.W., et al. Mycotoxins. Clinical Microbiology Reviews. Jul 2003: 497-516.