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Ryan's Autism Journey - Be The Miracle!

Ryan’s Autism Journey – Be The Miracle!

In support of Autism Awareness Month, I want to share with all of you – Ryan’s Autism Journey, and how your child can be the miracle too!

Updated @ 2021-05-05 : Added credit to the great therapists who helped Ryan, and more of my thoughts.

Originally posted @ 2021-04-30

 

Ryan’s Autism Journey : Be The Miracle!

It’s been a full decade since my son, Ryan, was diagnosed with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder), just 3 months shy of his second birthday.

Today, he’s like any other kid his age. He goes to a normal school, keeps up with his studies, and can interact with people pretty normally.

Take a look at how Ryan went from being completely non-verbal, with poor motor skills and no eye contact, to the boy he is today.

Look at how far he has come along in the last 10 years. Your child too can become your miracle!

 

Ryan’s Autism Journey : How He Became Our Miracle!

I’m sorry, but your child exhibits behaviours consistent with the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

That is something no parent ever wants to hear. That is something no parent deserves to hear. But it is what it is.

It would explain his inability to speak or stay still, his lack of eye contact, repetitive behaviours, screaming fits at night (night terrors), etc.

Acceptance

IMHO, acceptance was KEY to our success.

Over the years, many people confided in me how their friends or relatives refused to acknowledge the diagnosis, which prevents them from moving to the next stage – helping the child.

If it helps, ignore the label. The diagnosis really doesn’t matter.

All you need to know is that your child is missing key milestones, and he/she needs help. That is all that matters.

Every Day Counts

Everyone goes through the stages of grief when you get the diagnosis. But time is of essence. Every day counts.

So I decided right away to speed right through to acceptance, and get right down to work.

That meant reading up on the latest studies and treatments, and getting urgent referrals to the best doctors and therapists in the area.

It may be somewhat easier for me, because I already underwent a similar baptism of fire when my wife had two strokes just 1.5 years earlier.

So I would understand if you may have trouble moving past this stage. If I may offer a personal suggestion, try focusing on the fact that your child urgently needs your help.

How can we not fight for Ryan???

Neuroplasticity

It soon became clear that the key was THERAPY, and the earlier he started, the better; because young brains are especially “plastic”

Neuroplasticity – the ability of our brains to “rewire” itself – is how stroke patients regain function through therapy, and it’s the same reason why therapy works in children with ASD.

The key is to start therapy as early as possible, to take advantage of the developing brain of young children, which is highly plastic.

You don’t even have to wait for a diagnosis. As our developmental paediatrician, Dr. Rajini Sarvananthan, once told me – as long as a child has developmental issues, therapy should begin.

Recommended : Autism + Special Needs Q&A With Dr. Rajini Sarvananthan

The writer with Dr. Rajini Sarvananthan

Therapy, Therapy, Therapy

We put Ryan on occupational therapy with Madam Teo Lee Fun to work on his sensory and behavioural issues, as well as his fine and gross motor skills.

We also put Ryan on speech therapy with Dr. Cindy Lian, to help him learn to speak, and later, to improve his pronunciation.

Finally, we managed to get a slot in an Early Intervention Programme – Bridges EIP – for two hour sessions, twice a week.

This is an incredibly useful programme, where special need kids are taught cognitive skills at the table for about 30 minutes, followed by 15-20 minutes of gross motor activities.

Then they learn to eat by themselves, and interact with other children during snack time. After that, they usually have some kind of art and craft activity, and end with singing.

Many thanks to great teachers like Jeremy Yong, Rachel and Lois Fu!

Therapy Is Brain Exercise

Therapy is literally brain exercise. The harder you exercise, the better you get.

The weekly therapy sessions alone are NOT ENOUGH.

We not only made sure we do not skip therapy sessions, we made sure we attended every session ourselves.

Why? So that we can learn to perform the same therapies, and repeat them at home. The key is to repeat, repeat, repeat at home.

Even if you are rich enough to afford daily sessions, that still amounts to just a few hours a week. It cannot beat parents teaching their kids at home too.

Don’t Give Up

Looking back at my records now, it looks like Ryan did not improve much for quite some time – at least 1.5 years.

But I never considered stopping his therapies, even as I watched other parents give up to try alternative treatments.

As expensive in money and time as they are – I attended most of them, and we repeated the therapies at home – I understood that therapies are literally the only proven treatment for ASD.

Then suddenly, Ryan started to show improvements, and by golly, when that happened, it just kept snowballing.

In just 1.5 years, he went from speaking a few words with awkward motor skills, to normal speech and mastering the waveboard in just two weeks!

He improved so much, we ended up sending him to a Chinese school – to keep pushing the envelope.

He is now in a public school, where he even won an award for being the most improved student in his class!

Don’t Chase After Miracles!

To parents with children on the spectrum, please don’t fall for what’s easy and what’s miraculous.

Biomedical treatments that promise quick solutions, or supplements that promise a fast cure – they are all enticing, I’m sure.

But don’t listen to what they have to sell. Find out what WORKS, and seek advice from those who actually SUCCEEDED.

Don’t chase after miracles. BE THE MIRACLE!

No Special Treatment

This is not part of therapy, it’s just common sense.

Don’t pamper or coddle your child, or treat him/her differently from the other siblings.

We made the conscious choice of making sure Ryan is treated no differently from his siblings.

Not only is he FULLY VACCINATED, he has NO SPECIAL DIET / SUPPLEMENTS, and certainly NO PASSES for bad behaviour.

We are not going to be here forever. If we want him to be fully independent as an adult, he has to learn to eat, drink and behave like everyone else.

 

Ryan’s Autism Journey : Why It’s Important To Speak Up

While we are still working with him on his social skills, it truly is amazing how far we have come in the last ten years.

I spent hours creating the video and writing this article, because it is important for those who have succeeded to lend a hand, and help those who are struggling to understand ASD, much less cope with the enormity of the task at hand.

I hope Ryan’s journey will inspire all of you to persevere and trust in the evidence, trust in the science.

He did it, and so can your child.

All we ask is that when you succeed, you too will lend a helping hand to other parents, and a voice for other children on the spectrum.

Thank you!

 

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Autism + Special Needs Q&A With Dr. Rajini Sarvananthan

In support of Autism Awareness Month, we are sharing this exclusive Q&A session on autism and special needs with Dr. Rajini Sarvananthan!

May her knowledge and insight continue to help and inspire parents of children on the ASD spectrum, or with special needs!

 

Dr. Rajini Sarvananthan : Who Is She?

Dr. Rajini Sarvananthan is a Consultant Developmental Paediatrician at ParkCity Medical Centre and the Baby & Beyond Child Specialist Clinic.

She specialises in diagnosing and treating children with autism, ADHD, ADD, behavioural problems, cerebral palsy and other developmental disorders.

Her waiting list is as long as her professional credentials – MBBS HONS (UK), M MED Sc (Leeds, UK), MRCP (UK), MRCPCH (UK).

We were very fortunate to be able to invite her to a Q&A session with the parents of autistic and special needs children at the Bridges EIP Centre on the 5th of September 2015.

Sadly, we could not accommodate more parents for this talk. That’s why we recorded the entire session so that parents who could not make it for the event can benefit as well.

Dr. Rajini covered many topics, so we will not just provide you with the full video of the session. We have also prepared 18 smaller video clips that are specific to certain topics.

 

Autism + Special Needs Q&A with Dr. Rajini (Full)

For those who want to view the Autism And Special Needs Q&A session in its entirety, here is the full video. It is about 1 hour and 15 minutes long.

 

Autism + Special Needs with Dr. Rajini (Specific Topics)

Part 1 : Latest Treatments For Autism

Part 2 : Does ABA (Applied Behaviour Analysis) Work?

Part 3 : Should A Child Start ABA?

Part 4 : Occupational & Speech Therapies

Part 5 : iPad & YouTube As Therapy

Part 6 : Dealing With Giggling / Laughing Episodes

Part 7 : Don’t Focus On The Hours Spent On Therapy

Part 8 : Do Enrichment Classes Help?

Part 9 : Sensory Integration & Sibling Issues

Part 10 : More Sibling Issues

Part 11 : Handling Inappropriate Behaviour

Part 12 : Handling Temper Tantrums

Part 13 : Shopping Mall Woes

Part 14 : Dealing With Inferiority Complex

Part 15 : Dealing With Difficult Behaviour

Part 16 : Biomedical, Neurofeedback, Chlorine Dioxide & Diets

Part 17 : Vaccines For Children With Autism / Special Needs

Part 18 : Prognosis For Kids With Autism

 

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Dr. Paul Thomas : Antivax Doctor Stripped Of Medical Licence!

The Oregon Medical Board finally got their act together, and stripped Dr. Paul Thomas of his medical licence!

Find out what happened, and why this antivax doctor had his medical licence suspended!

 

Dr. Paul Thomas : Who Is He?

Dr. Paul Thomas is one of the rising stars of the anti-vaccine movement, a doctor who claims to be “pro-safe vaccine”.

He actively promotes his anti-vaccine views through his book, The Vaccine-Friendly Plan, which regurgitates long-disproven tropes on vaccines.

He has long been criticised for making false claims, like polio is “not infectious” and that vaccines are “toxic”.

 

Dr. Paul Thomas : Now Stripped Of Medical Licence!

On 3 December 2020, the Oregon Medical Board immediately suspended his medical licence.

Starting 5:15 PM Pacific Time on 3 December 2020, Dr. Paul Norman Thomas MD was ordered to “stop practicing medicine until further order of the Board“.

They found his conduct so dangerous, placing “the health and safety of his patients at serious risk of harm“, that they immediately issued the suspension without a board hearing.

And while antivaxxers are howling about this “outrage”, Dr. Paul Thomas is still entitled to request for a board hearing to restore his licence.

But take a look at the many reasons why the Oregon Medical Board had to issue an immediate suspension of his medical licence…

Patient A : Mother Reduced To Tears After Asking For Full Vaccination

Patient A’s mother requested for full vaccination for her child, and was “reduced to tears” after Dr. Paul Thomas bullied her into accepting his personal vaccine schedule instead.

He kept saying vaccines cause autism”, asking her “how awful she would feel if Patient A got autism and she could have prevented it“.

Patient B : Infected With Pertussis After Delayed Vaccination

Patient B was an 11 year-old male who was immunised according to Dr. Paul Thomas’ delayed vaccine schedule.

He was subsequently infected with pertussis, which could have been prevented with a vaccine like DTP or DTaP.

Patient C : Infected With Pertussis After Delayed Vaccination

Patient C is the younger brother of Patient B, and was not vaccinated against pertussis and contracted pertussis at the same time.

Their investigation also revealed that when he was just 10 weeks old, Dr. Paul Thomas treated him with intramuscular ceftriaxone without first confirming the infection., and failed to refer him to a hospital for definitive lab tests and observation.

Patient D : No Vaccination After Severe Tetanus

Patient D, then 6 years old, developed acute tetanus requiring intubation, tracheostomy, feeding tube placement and spent almost two months in the ICU.

After rehabilitation, he saw Dr. Paul Thomas, who referred him to a homeopath, recommended fish oil supplements and “phosphatidyl seine”.

He failed to recommend a tetanus vaccination for a child who almost died from tetanus, and remained vulnerable to it in his farm home.

Patient E : Hospitalised With Rotavirus

Patient E was a 10 year-old girl who received minimal immunisation at Dr. Paul Thomas’ clinic, and ended up requiring hospitalisation for rotavirus gastroenteritis.

She also had a severe cough, and was “treated empirically for pertussis” without testing by another physician at Dr Paul Thomas’ clinic.

Patient F : Not Immunised + Failure To Refer To A Specialist

Patient F was a 7 year-old girl who was not immunised, and complained of constipation, food allergies, mold allergies, and possible chronic Lyme disease.

Instead of referring her to paediatric specialists, Dr. Paul Thomas ordered repeated IgE allergy panels and recommended “elimination diets, vitamin supplements and antibiotics” for what could have been malabsorption or celiac disease.

Patients G + H : Hospitalised For Rotavirus

Patients G and H are twins who were not vaccinated against rotavirus, even though their mother claimed that she thought they had been vaccinated by Dr. Paul Thomas.

They subsequently became infected with rotavirus gastroenteritis at 10 months of age, suffering from severe dehydration and serum electrolyte abnormalities, and requiring 5 days of hospitalisation.

Unnecessarily Subjected 905 Children To Tests

The Oregon Medical Board discovered that Dr. Paul Thomas subjected 905 of his patients to serum antibody titre tests for measles, mumps and rubella.

Since there is no clinical indication for such tests (except for rare, suspected cases of immune deficiencies), it was considered “unprofessional or dishonourable conduct“.

90 Children Did Not Receive Second MMR Vaccine

Based on those unnecessary tests, Dr. Paul Thomas identified 122 patients who had an inadequate response to the mumps vaccine. However, he only gave 32 of them the second dose of the MMR vaccine.

The other 90 children did not receive their second MMR vaccine dose, even though they too had an inadequate response. This left them vulnerable to mumps.

Regardless of their antibody titres, the standard of care REQUIRED the administration of the second MMR vaccine dose to all children.

 

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If you like our work, you can help support us by visiting our sponsors, participating in the Tech ARP Forums, or even donating to our fund. Any help you can render is greatly appreciated!