This week Amanda Honer from Bath has a guest post for us, Amanda became a trained Homeopath and registered nutritional therapist after her experiences with her autistic son. This is her story:
Hi, my name is Amanda and I wanted to share my experience with other Mums who find themselves in a similar position.
In 1997 our second son was diagnosed with autism. OCD and ‘associated difficulties’. We had little family support (my husband’s parents learnt of the diagnosis and simply stopped visiting) and my father and his wife spent much of their time abroad. My Mother had passed away.
We became very bonded as a small family of 4 and managed to shape our lifestyles around what worked for our boys. Our youngest son slept for a maximum of 2 hours each night, ate very little, became anxious and angry at what appeared to be unknown causes and was non-verbal. He couldn’t look at our eyes, loved the alphabet/ Thomas the Tank Engine and playing in water.
I read about eliminating gluten, dairy, MSG, preservatives etc from the diet of autistic children, so sent a urine sample to Sunderland University and it came back showing a severe intolerance to gluten and dairy. I then began to cook everything myself and ‘cleaned’ his diet.
We had eventually opted out of his assessments as we found they concentrated on what he couldn’t or apparently wouldn’t do and chose to focus on all that he could. His autism specialist suggested we give him sleeping tablets as we all looked exhausted, but I wasn’t entirely comfortable with this… So, I started to tentatively investigate every and any form of natural therapy/support/treatments. To cut a long story short, we stumbled onto homeopathic medicine as full-on sceptics. However, it appeared to be most suited to our son who gradually began to speak, sleep and even cuddle!
Autism is not an illness so Homeopathy doesn’t offer a ‘cure’ for autism. But it certainly helps many children to be less reactive to their environment, less anxious, strengthens their immune responses and therefore their gut health and makes them less intolerant to certain foods, feel more comfortable and less likely to become angry and explosive.
His brother often needed to be enormously patient, empathetic, and considerate from a really young age and it meant he deserved some extra support too. He often suppressed his real expressions or desires to accommodate the needs of his brother. It was hard as we love both boys, but the demands of autism can often leave us time poor. So, we all ended up going along to see our homeopath and found it wonderfully effective for emotional and physical issues.
I then decided to train for 4 years to help other families who found themselves in a similar position.
I qualified as a registered homeopath in 2012 and have been fortunate enough to have a busy practice ever since. I then qualified as a nutritional therapist in Jan 2020.
Today, our youngest son is a long way from his initial diagnosis: he lives in a ‘granny flat’ beside our house, does all his own cooking, personal hygiene, shopping and housework. Has a job in a charity shop, is joined to a local friend’s group, goes on holiday in the UK with his brother every year, sleeps through the night, loves to eat in restaurants, go to the cinema, go bowling, crazy golf and enjoys a simple but happy life. He also gives the best hugs, ever.
Parents know their children better than anyone, for the most part the decisions you make for your family will be the right ones and you will get through the difficult times. Autism in the family requires patience, love and understanding. These attributes make us all grow into better human beings and teach us so much about ourselves and each other.
So, the point in writing this was simply to offer support to any families out there who wanted to connect with someone who understands. Isolation can be a cruel friend in these situations and I aim to encourage, empower and support families raising these wonderful, challenging, unique souls.
If anyone would like to connect with me privately or publicly, I do run a Facebook group to support and encourage parents and you would be most welcome to join: Homeopathy and Natural Healthcare for Children.