Luke was our first child, and like all parents, we had so many hopes and dreams for him. We were so excited every time he achieved another developmental milestone—rolling over, sitting, crawling, and walking. I remember purchasing a baseball tee and bat for him, wanting to share my love of baseball with him. At 12 months old, he was a beautiful, happy, giggly little boy. One of my favorite photographs from that time was him peeking his head around a doorway with a big smile on his face. He was playing peek-a-boo with us from the next room.
A few months later, his behavior began to change. He no longer answered us when we called his name. Instead of playing appropriately with his toys, he would assemble them in a line, and then run circles around the toys for minutes at a time. Luke would often throw tantrums, and most times we could not determine the reason. While his little neighborhood friends were talking more and more, he had no language. He seemed to be in his own little world.
During this time, we voiced our concerns to his pediatrician and to anyone else who would listen. Over and over again, we received the same message: he’s just a boy, boys develop later than girls, and let’s wait and see where he is in 6 months. I felt so helpless. As a mother, I felt responsible for his delays, and continually wondered what I was doing wrong and what I could do to help him.
It wasn’t until age 3, after convincing his pediatrician that he needed some help, did she agree to refer us to a speech therapist. Finally, he began to use some words on a regular basis. We hoped that he just needed this jumpstart, and that soon we would experience a burst in language. I thought maybe his meltdowns were simply a result of not being able to communicate with us, and that an increase in language would resolve that problem. But those hopes faded quickly when his language and communication skills failed to develop and were well below normal levels for a 3-year old. His younger sister, at 17 months, was speaking at a higher level.
Luke qualified for our school district’s Early Childhood program. He made some small gains in speech, but his inability to handle transitions, play with his peers, and communicate with us drove us to seek help. A neurologist diagnosed him with autism, but didn’t give us any direction in how we could help him. After another disappointing doctor’s appointment where Luke screamed and cried the entire time, a wonderful neighbor of ours dropped off a couple of books on autism that she found in the “new book” section of our library. One of them was Dr. Amy’s “Puzzle book”. After reading it, I was filled with so much hope.
We began Dr. Amy’s program when Luke was 5 ½ years old. While waiting for his genetics results, we began some basic step 1 supplementation. After a couple months, teachers were beginning to make comments about positive changes in Luke’s behavior at school. Besides an improvement in his speech, he was calmer, less anxious, and better able to handle changes to the “routine” schedule. The excitement we felt when he took his first steps at 11 months old was nothing compared to the excitement of seeing our little boy taking his first steps toward recovery.
We spent 9 months on step 1, regularly testing and tweaking his supplementation based on Dr. Amy’s recommendations. Luke was improving, but we knew that beginning step 2 of the protocol would bring some regressions. The detoxification of virus and heavy metals in step 2 and the associated regressions were very difficult to handle. By testing regularly, however, we were able to see first hand the way his body began excreting metals. It was fascinating to see little to no metal come out of his body at first, followed by increasing levels as the supplementation increased. Associating the metal excretion to the behaviors made the tough times a bit easier.
After two years on step 2, we are now beginning the final phase of the program. Today he is a different child. He is in second grade, and learning without the help of a teaching aide. Instead of playing with a stick or staring at passing trains at recess, he looks to the other kids for interaction, socializes, plays team games, and explains what’s on his mind both at recess and after school. He joined Cub Scouts and can’t wait to play baseball for the first time in the spring. His speech improves every day.
Dr. Amy gave us the tools to heal our son. She traveled the long and difficult road with us, reviewing numerous test results, answering questions, and leading us down the path to recovery. We are so grateful because today we have a happy boy whose thoughts and abilities have finally been released from the limitations of autism.
Matt & Marcy Walsh
Parents to Luke, 8 years old