Yadira V. Calderon, mother of Thomais M. (nine years old), writes about her daughter’s recovery journey from autism.
Autism and positivism do not seem to be two words that many people combine; I can understand why, but I want to tell other parents that recovery from autism may be possible for their child.
Realizing that autism is a possible diagnosis in the life of your child is the scariest and quite an infuriating sensation you can feel as a parent. First, you do not know why your child has autism. Then, everyone keeps telling you there is something wrong with your child because you are not a good parent. And finally, you feel powerless when your child starts screaming in the middle of a major retail store and you do not know how to survive this.
In the midst of all this, consider the message you may receive from the professional diagnosing your child.
- Were you told your child will never speak?
- Were you told your child is the “R” word?
- Were you told your child will be institutionalized?
- Were you told there is nothing you can do, that’s the way he/she is, and you have to take it?
Now, erase all of the above and think about your first and positive experience meeting someone with autism. Yes, in 1996 I had Temple Grandin in front of me, and she was this power house of information, so passionate about the humane treatment of animals prior to being slaughtered (if there is such an idea!). I was so impressed with the degree of precision of her explanations.
Regression into Autism
My daughter’s massive regression was obvious in December 2010. She stopped talking; she had been learning three languages – and had gradually lost gross and fine motor skills and fulfilled eight of the criteria confirming autism.
Thirteen years after meeting Temple Grandin, I found myself in the offices of two developmental pediatricians in Puerto Rico (thanks to my family’s network). Lo and behold and so fortunate for us, their identical message was: Autism is medical, address the medical issues and your child will come back! One of them also said: Not everyone knows about autism and be ready to read tons. And that’s exactly what I did, after blood work and an organic acids test.
Recovery from Autism
It was June 2011 when I changed her nutrition drastically, gave probiotics and other supplements, and to this day, I’m still amazed when three months later, my child was again answering the question, “What is your name?” in Spanish and in Greek. I did a Defeat Autism Now! (DAN!) protocol for six months, and it was a disaster because she was taking supplements without having detoxed!
We did occupational therapy (OT) for five months at home for an hour every day. I found a recent OT graduate, we helped each other, we learned tons from each other) We began to do homeopathy and selective supplements, then did more homeopathy (CEASE). Then I found this article from the National Autism Association, which became one of my best guides.
I used more homeopathic remedies and herbs to address Lyme and co-infections, immune system dysfunction and viral load; this protocol has also been a major success addressing my daughter’s PANS/PANDAS.
We did RENS (Rapid Effect Natural Supplement), a supplement with chlorophyll and three types of algae. We also used probiotics and sodium ascorbate to handle micro abstinence crisis. The product has helped with cell repair and getting rid of metals.
We are now using LIOVI, a probiotic with a great variety of strains, and selective homeopathic remedies. All have been very beneficial so far. 75% of this I did on my own, after talking with many parents, and reading tons more.
I hope you believe me when I say: “My kid is back”! We are soooo blessed. Her ATEC (Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist) score was 150 in 2011; it is 8-10 now in 2018! I know the ATEC is very subjective, but if you meet my child, you can see there have been major changes, improvements.
We have more work to do; we still have medical issues to address such as self chatter, proprioception, selective eating and getting in healthy, clean, food from home. We have not done behavior therapy (ABA) at all!
We are not slaves to autism. Autism does not rule our existence. My kid loves life. My kid is ready for the world, and she will be more prepared as time passes. My kid is fun. My kid is curious. My kid tests and challenges me. My kid thinks she’s 25 years old on some days.
I urge each and every one of you to read non-stop, to ask questions non-stop and to find the positive in your days. I have been through the hell that autism can be in a household. We are surviving it. It is not easy. We are doing our best to make it happen. Staying positive has been our key to remain sane and willing to do more, regardless of the challenges.
Enjoy these videos; they summarize our last 9-1/2 years. 2009: My baby achieving milestones (before regression into autism)
- Sitting up unsuppported
- Jul 2011: One month after diagnosis was confirmed and began nutritional change, giving supplements
- Dec 2011: Repetitive behaviors
- 2012: PANDAS tantrums; we did not know it was PANDAS at the time
- 2012: Semi-apraxic language
- 2012: Not knowing how to hold things properly
- 2013: Not capable of socializing or interacting with other kids; seeking danger
- Dec 2015: Progress
- May 2016: Empowering moments
- Aug 10, 2017: First day 4th Grade
- Sep 2017: Surviving Hurricane Irma
- Nov 2017: Interview with a local reporter promoting her own book!
Thomais V. Moshopoulos was born in Athens, Greece in 2008. She was developing like any other kid, but at 30 months she had a massive regression, and autism became a part of her life. She loves dinosaurs, whales and at times she believes she’s an encyclopedia and loves to share what she’s learned. Thomais learned to read in 2018 and is beyond thrilled with the greater discoveries she’s making — writing and illustrating her own book for starters.
Yadira Calderon worked as a middle school teacher’s assistant for special-needs classrooms. She became a mother at the age of 40 while married and living in Greece, only to take her daughter to the United States to seek better treatment and living conditions for her daughter, Thomais, author of the book, The Story Of Thomais.
Yadira has been eating, breathing, sleeping, challenging and accepting autism since 2010. She is a dedicated warrior, advocate, radio talk show host, director of short films and author of the soon to be published book, Autism: The Happy Kingdom.
She holds an Master of Arts in International Relations and Diplomacy, speaks three languages and has lived in six countries, having traveled to another twenty-seven. Her friends know she is determined, persistent, positive, creative, open-minded and realistic, she believes these attributes prepared her to become the mother of Thomais.
Yadira has worked as an editor for trade publications in the meat and baking industries, logistics industry and cement industry. She is a part-time professor in China and a teacher’s assistant in three middle schools in special education classrooms. She provided support to an adult with special needs and worked in a retail store.
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