Our latest stop on this ride with autism has been to a place I never would have thought was an option: a chiropractor’s office.
Austin’s speech therapist mentioned last year that she’d heard good things from parents who’ve tried chiropractic care with their autistic children. I had good intentions of looking into it, but forgot about it until recently.
My mother in law had an appointment with her chiropractor and happened to mention Austin and his autism. The chiropractor told her to send us his way as he really felt he could help Austin. After looking into things I realized that her chiropractor was the same one that the SLP had suggested to me previously.
We’ve been in a TOUGH phase with Austin for months. Any play skills he learned in the past have completely disappeared; replaced by constant throwing…all day, every day, and most the time half the night too. Constant throwing of everything including food and then screaming because he wants what he threw but can’t reach it or find it. We’ve also seen the return of self-injurious behaviors. He hits and punches himself in the head; also bangs his head on the floor or walls. Bruises are almost always on his head these days.
So I figured we had nothing to lose by seeing a chiropractor, and the doctor we saw really wanted to help. He asked us to let him know what we could afford to pay, and he accepted the amount we offered.
Pretty much immediately we saw improvement in Austin’s sleeping. The past 2 weeks that he’s been having adjustments, he’s been sleeping through the night, or waking only once. That in itself is such a help and relief. It’s hard to have the patience and stamina for each day’s screaming and throwing and dishes and homework and cooking and cleaning on a full night’s sleep, much less on a few hours.
I also don’t think it’s a coincidence that Austin told my mom once and me twice when he needed to go potty. He never had before! He pulled both of us to the gate at the bathroom ( on two separate occasions) and said “pee pee”. He’s still not consistently doing that, but I know it’s a sign that he will. He does catch himself if he starts to wet and will stop and wait until we get him to the toilet…as long as we get there fast enough 🙂
So far the throwing has continued unabated, and the screaming with it, but like I said above, at least the sleep has improved. It’s more than worth the extra morning craziness of getting to the chiropractor for us to be getting more sleep at night.
Thanksgiving might have already passed this year, but I feel such gratitude every day. Gratitude that I live where I do…right down the street from an amazing school that is so good for my boy. Grateful for the therapists who pour into Austin and encourage me constantly; especially Ms. Meg the SLP. I’m thankful for my beautiful family & friends who support us and LOVE on our little boy. I’m thankful for my church that has been so supportive and loving toward Austin, even starting a ministry to make Sundays a little smoother for kids with special needs.
Living with autism is constant ups and downs, hope and despair, peace and fear. One thing I will always feel, however, is complete thankfulness for all I have been given.