Two amazingly wonderful, and funny, things happened today. Both involved spontaneous vocal reactions from Will that just blew me away.
First - This morning, I burped. Promptly afterward, Will looked at me and said, "Excuse me..."
Next - At some point this morning, I yawned. Will responded by saying, "Mommy's tired."
Now, for parents of normally developing almost-five-year-olds, these utterances wouldn't be a big deal. To a mommy of a kiddo with autism who usually just repeats what I say or doesn't respond to things at all, these utterances are monumental. Will's little brain is clearly making appropriate connections and he's verbalizing what he's thinking. This is huge from a little guy who has typically been labeled as "non-verbal." These utterances give me great joy, and I dare say, a little hope...
About two months ago, we began a controversial treatment on Will called chelation. Often used to treat people with lead poisoning, it's use as an autism treatment is controversial because it's whole purpose is to draw toxic metals out of the body. And because the government and mainstream medicine keep telling us that there's no link between toxic metals like mercury and lead and autism, then this treatment can't possibly work. Right?!?
Will went in for his first treatment a while back in which the nurse injected a solution intravenously into Will's arm. The theory is that the metals attach themselves to the solution and expel from the body. After the first treatment, we received test results that showed the chelation pulled out elevated levels of lead, mercury, aluminum and nickel from Will's little body. There was actually three times the amount of lead in Will's body than what we should've seen. The results were shocking.
Within two days after the treatment, we heard one of Will's first spontaneous utterances. Bryn turned off the television, and without any prompting whatsoever, Will said, "No, no Bryn." Ryan and I just looked at each other in shock.
A few weeks ago, I geared up for one of my least favorite tasks - cutting Will's toenails. You see, for years, Will has had yellow, thick, fungus-y looking toenails - based on what I heard one doctor say at a conference, this is a common trait among autistic children. Will's toenails were hard to cut and just nasty. Imagine my surprise when I picked up Will's big toe and saw a pink nail. I looked at the rest of the nails - all pink. They are still a little thick, but they are pink like normal toenails. Coincidence? Or maybe it's the fact that we might actually be ridding his little body of those bad things that were making his toenails sick.
Yet another cool incident - yesterday we went to a friend's house for some food and fun. A neighbor commented on how engaged Will was with the other children. You see, the last time he'd seen Will was at a block party where Will just sat in a chair by himself for two hours. We all watched in delight yesterday as Will giggled and interacted with the other children.
And then this morning - "Excuse me" and "Mommy's tired." But that wasn't it. When I woke Bryn up from her nap, we did what we usually do. She waved to Will from the second floor then we came downstairs. I said to Bryn, "Say hi Will," which Will usually repeats (Say hi Will). Nope, not today. Will responded, "Hi Brynie Pie..." Again, this is so significant it just about knocked me off the couch.
It's hard for me to believe that these major developments we've seen since beginning chelation therapy are just coincidences. Maybe the treatment is actually working. Well, we're going to keep going with it until the tests show no more metals in his body. I've read the process can take a few months up to a couple of years, but it's worth the time and effort to hear these wonderful things coming out of Will's mouth. I'm looking forward to what tomorrow will bring!