Alternative Therapies for Special Needs: Personal Experiences

Alternative Therapies for Special Needs: Personal Experiences

I love Chloe exactly as she is, which is why I often struggle with the idea of trying to “fix” her. Obviously, though, anything – or almost anything – we can try and see if it helps her, we are and always have been willing to do. I say almost anything because of the possible risks associated with different alternative therapies and, unfortunately, what it usually comes down to is the cost. So if something appears to be not too risky and is something we can afford, and especially if I have seen or heard of something helping someone else, then we will most likely try it for Chloe. Here is an overview of what we have tried and a few that are on the radar to try if/when we can afford it. Each therapy type is linked to an external website providing additional information. Anat Baniel Method (ABM) : According to their website, ABM, “rather than try to force children into developmental milestones they are not ready to do successfully, which can groove in their limitations even deeper, [this] method wakes up the child’s brain to create new connections, often at a staggering rate, leading to spontaneous, often extraordinary breakthroughs in movement, thinking, self-regulation, and connection with others.” I had heard a lot about this method through different online support groups and it couldn’t be ignored that this therapy was working wonders for other special needs children. So, despite significant financial constraints at the time, we decided we at least needed Chloe to try it once. One half hour session later, I was  convinced this could be a game changer...
Tips for a Care Conference

Tips for a Care Conference

The children’s hospital that we go to has has a huge initiative around making sure that there is transparency between the patients, parents and the medical staff. In order to make this happen over the course of the last couple of years they have started doing shift changes in front of the patient and parents (unless requested not to). Parents have always been invited to attend rounds, which is when every person involved in your child’s care during the hospital stay gets in the room and discusses the events of the previous day and the upcoming plan. My husband and I became very familiar with these when my daughter was in the NICU. We attended rounds as often as we were able. In this realm, often during some of a patients final hospital stays, parents can call ask for a Care Conference. This is a meeting with all of your child’s major doctors. It’s similar to rounds but it would include all of your care providers, including your Pediatrician. The only people that know your child and their care like you do, only like… half as much… With my hospital, care conferences can be arranged by working with a hospital social worker but as the parent, you are the boss. You can work with your Pediatrician to make this meeting happen at any time during your complex child’s care. Having a hard time putting one together? It’s understandable, these are important, and usually very busy, people!  In a pinch? Make it a conference call. It’s important, you can make it happen, if they care about you and your child, they...
The Peanut Doctor

The Peanut Doctor

There is some new hope for parents of children with severe food allergies. It’s creating some buzz in the special needs community and recently a news report caught my eye. There is a doctor in Utah who is trying a dangerous new strategy to help kids tackle severe allergies. This amazing new allergy treatment is given by Dr. Jones, who runs the Rocky Mountain Food Allergy Treatment Center in Layton, Utah – Where kids are being treated to overcome severe allergies to food such as peanuts, milk, eggs and wheat. Graduates of his program will ideally have diets that include the very poisons that could kill them today. It’s ground-breaking and they say they are one of the only treatment center’s doing this in the mid-west. Parents are coming to him with the hope of not living with the fear that they have to watch every food item that goes not only in their child’s mouth, but sometimes even around them or touching their skin. I have seen helpful travel tip where allergy parents are advised to cover their strollers for fear that another child might touch it and leave a trace of a dangerous allergen. It’s scary. The process Dr. Jones uses involves breaking the food down to the protein responsible for the severe reactions, isolating that protein and slowly introducing the protein and the food into their diet. Kids are given weekly introductions of the food in a controlled environment. Building up gradually to eating a full peanut after about 6 months, and it can go from there. As you can imagine this process and the treatment...