Hello everyone - It's been a few months since I've updated Taegan's blog.
Time seems to be scurrying by as of late. Taegan finished her first year of special needs preschool at the end of May. She really enjoys school and is excited about starting back up in a couple of weeks. She often says "playground friends" which I interpret as meaning she is asking when she will be returning to school to see her teachers and classmates.
It's hard to imagine, but Taegan turned four in June! She is growing up entirely too fast for my liking. She's really gotten tall in the last few months. Unfortunately, her growth spurts cause her more muscle tightness in her legs, and even her back as well. These things are to be expected because of the cerebral palsy. She's on the 'priority list' to receive more botox injections and again will be serial casted for several weeks. Not fun, but it's necessary for her to be mobile. Her braces are rubbing her heels (especially the left) due to the increased muscle tightness that came with this growth spurt. She'll need a new pair of those again as well when casting is completed. It's too bad we don't have a hyperbaric oxygen center close-by so we can get a few hours of HBOT during these growth spurs of hers. :-( I always wonder if she'd even need botox injections at all if we had regular HBOT treatments. (The whole botox issue is one I wrestle with constantly - it's quite scary to me if I'm being honest.)
We've been on the biomedical path for a few months now. In April, Taegan was seen by a DAN practitioner (DAN=Defeat Autism Now) who arranged for a battery of tests, including blood tests and urine analysis etc. The results showed she has metal toxicity, a common finding in children with autism. She's been on a regimen of vitamin and mineral supplements for about 2 years now, but we've recently made alterations to the regimen. We've added B12 shots, which she receives every 3 days. Also, we're doing chelation treatments with her to help pull the metals out of her body. She's on a prescription to help kill the high yeast overgrowth in her gut (another commonality in the ASD population as well.) It really is like a puzzle, finding what works and what needs supplemented etc. We've seen a lot of improvements in Taegan just from the B12 injections, which she's been taking since April.
We've had to put HBOT on hold for a few months while pursuing the biomedical approach. Biomedical treatments are quite expensive, and with ASD will likely be lifelong in order to manage the symptoms of ASD. As I've learned more and more about this disorder and the biomedical approach, it really comes down to an individuals genetic make-up and what the body is lacking or cannot produce enough of to function 'normally.'So you constantly need to be supplementing the body with what it needs, which can be quite a bit in fact!
Once chelation has done its job and pulled out metals that shouldn't be in the body, I'll continue with HBOT treatments. I'm hoping this can all happen in 2008-09. We're planning several fundraisers in order to help us provide this for Taegan.
Our 2nd Annual Angels Ridin' 4 Taegan motorcycle ride to benefit Taegan will be on September 13, 2008 from 11am-4pm. I will include further details in a future blog.
Taegan is continuing with her therapies weekly as well. She now has speech therapy 2x's a week (she also receives 60 min/week of speech at school during the school year.) She's receiving physical therapy 3x's a week (plus 30 min/week @ school.) She sees an occupational therapist 1x/week who has been focusing on Taegan's sensory needs as well as her visual deficits. She's been doing very well with her OT this summer. (She also receives 20 min of OT/week @ school). She's doing hippotherapy (therapy on horses) 2 hours a week. It's hard to believe she's been riding horses since she was 2 years old! Hippotherapy is her favorite! She says "horse, horses, and horsies" several times a week, which is her way of asking me when is 'horsie day.' It's really cute to hear her say it! She had 2 miniature horses at her 4th birthday party this year! She thought that was pretty cool. :-)
She's continuing to receive weekly craniosacral therapy treatments as well from our dear friend Mary VanNoy. Taegan enjoys Mary and always stops to play her piano after her session. :-) Taegan's monthly chiropractic appointments are also going well and have been especially important for her during this growth spurt phase. We are truly blessed to have such a wonderful group of therapists/doctors/teachers/friends in Taegan's life.
Thank you to all of Taegan's special earth angels for helping us to have the financial resources to provide the HBOT and biomedical treatments that have helped her thrive in 2007-08.