||If you are interested in learning more or volunteering to be part of Jordyn's Son-Rise Program please click here.|
Jordyn Pallett's Story (so far)
Jordyn was born on June 1, 2003. When we realized at about 18 months that Jordyn's speech was not developing normally, and saw examples of him withdrawing, avoiding eye contact, and engaging in repetitive behaviors, we turned to the medical community for help. Shortly after his second birthday Jordyn was diagnosed on the Autistic Spectrum. After Jordyn's diagnosis we thought we were doing as well as we could because we recognized that something was going on early. However, really all we succeeded in doing was getting his name on waiting lists.
While waiting Jordyn was getting some speech therapy and an occupational therapist was visiting with him periodically. However, what we noticed was virtually no progress, in fact Jordyn seemed to be retreating farther and farther into his own world. All he was really interested in was sorting things, looking at picture books, and Baby Einstein.
But it appeared that where we lived in Orangeville, that was all that was available. We started to look into what we could do while we waited for a spot to open up for Jordyn with IBI or ABA therapies that we were waiting for. One of the things that we found that appealed to us was the Autism Treatment Center of America, who was run by Raun Kaufman, a formally severely autistic child himself who have completely received through a program his parents developed now called Son-Rise.
It appealed to us for three reasons, first it offered hope of recovery something that we have found does happen (and not just through Son-Rise). Second the approach focused on Jordyn and us, as human beings, creating an complete environment of acceptance, rather then focusing solely changing Jordyn's behaviors. Third, it was designed and intended to be parent lead, we did not need to rely on anybody else or waiting lists. Finally someone was point the way to what Kelli and I could take responsibility and do.
Kelli and I also travelled to Washington to attend a DAN conference. DAN stands for Defeat Autism Now. This is an organization of Parents and Health Care Practitioners that have been at the forefront of treating people on the Autistic Spectrum for 40 years. What we learned there was astounding to me. There are hundreds and hundreds of treatment options that we could be looking at in addition to Son Rise, or the traditional IBI and ABA therapies. Also the same message of the possibility of recovery was loud and clear.
What struck us the strongest was the biomedical interventions that were being talked about. And the biggest one was diet. The message we got was of all the possible interventions available - diet was commonly one of the biggest impacts, with often very dramatic results in a relatively short time frame. Again here was something that we could do and be responsible for. Best of all, at a conference full of doctors and parents, we learned some of the science behind what was going on on the inside with our son.
We started a totally Dairy free and Wheat free diet (otherwise known as GFCF: Gluten Free/Casein Free). Click here if you would like to know why that was the one we chose. We started slowly, using up the wheat and dairy food that we still had in the house, but replaced his foods with GFCF alternatives.
Here is what we noticed with Jordyn as we started to implement the Son-Rise Program and changes to his diet. In a very short period of time (days and weeks) Jordyn started to become interested in us and others. His eye contact increased dramatically. He started to interact with us and other adults and children in new and clear ways that included hugs, interactive play, and requests for help. He started to speak for the first time. When I came home from work, instead of ignoring my presence, Jordyn would go to the top of the stairs, and take me by the hand to his room to play. His energy improved dramatically. He stopped needing naps in the middle of the day and we established a set bed time. He generally sleeps through the night on his own. We were able to start the process of toilet training him. Overall, we had a happier, and much more engaged little boy.
Often when working with professionals we hear that we should change only one thing in Jordyn's environment at a time, so we could know what exactly the impact of each change was. We did not do this, so I cannot tell you what made the biggest difference, the diet, or the Son-Rise Program, or some other things that we did that I have not mentioned here. What I can tell you is, even if some how we found out that either Son-Rise or the Diet Changes were not responsible, we would still always include them as large part how we raise our son. If we had other children who are not ADS, we would still be using Son-Rise, and Diet as a integrated part of their life as well. Both have made that big a difference for us, not to mention Jordyn.
Jordyn continues to grow every day. He is just starting to use the words he has been learning spontaneously with others at school - which is a big deal for us (and him). I am clear, that Jordyn, is teaching Kelli and I more about ourselves and life in general, then we would ever have learned on our own had he been a typical child. He is the greatest gift we have ever received.
If you are interested in learning more or volunteering to be part of Jordyn's Son-Rise Program please click here.
Michael & Kelli Pallett
Below a list of what has changed for Jordyn as a result of the Dietary interventions and The Son-Rise Program in the past nine months (as of Nov. 2007):
2. THEN - needed a transition object and it took 30 minutes to get him out the door.
NOW - we say "let's go" and he happily goes to the door.
3. THEN - didn't acknowledge when he was told to do something, or his name was said.
NOW - he looks and follows simple and sometimes 2 step directions. (e.g. Get your cup, Can I have a kiss please?, flush the potty)
4. THEN - he rarely looked at us
NOW - grabs our face to look in our eyes, and holds our gaze for 10 - 30 sec
5. THEN - would not play a game we invented at all... Very rigid.
NOW - will get into a game we create when he's motivated
6. THEN - if there were more that 3-4 people in a room he would find somewhere to be alone
NOW - he copes much better with larger groups, and seeks out new people in the group
7. THEN - did not acknowledge Daddy's presence when he came home at night
NOW - greats him with BIG smile & hugs, and "Hi", and takes his hand to go play
8. THEN - barely any unprompted language
NOW - labels many things, lots of repeating what we say, some spontaneous words.
9. THEN - didn't get at all that language would help him get what he needs.
NOW - knows he needs to say something (make a request) for "help", "please", or "want" to get what he wants.
10. THEN - didn't go to bed well at all. Up 'til he physically crashed 11pm or midnight - and had to have DVD or would super tantrum
NOW - goes into room w Daddy at 8pm, turns out light himself, turns on music himself, and snuggles up to sleep in 10 - 15 minutes (NO STRUGGLE!).
11. THEN - ism'd w blocks, books, cards, puzzles, insertion puzzles for probably 50% of his day.
NOW - curious, invites interaction, wants to learn NEW things, wants to include/be included in what is happening.
12. THEN - not toilet trained
NOW - still not trained, but will go to "potty" when you say... "let's go potty". He pulls down his pants when directed, sits on the toilet and pees if he has too... Big celebrations and a "proud" little boy.
13. THEN - lucky to get 1 word out with prompting
NOW - 3 words w prompting, sometimes spontaneous 2 words "I want...", sometimes 5-6 words without getting totally frustrated.
14. THEN - aggressive when frustrated - biting & hitting... Or sometimes to get attention ... Had my bum bitten a few times.
NOW - it takes a lot more to get him frustrated to this level and if you say "hurt" he stops.
15. NOW - knows his planets, colours, animals, shapes, body parts, clothing, some verbs ("run", "tickle", "walk", "bounce", "stand", "sit"), power words ("help", "want", "come", "burts" (aka raspberry), "kiss", "hug", "please", "I love you", "mommy", "daddy", "Constance", "poppy").
16. THEN - would not point to something if you asked, "show me X"
NOW - does this when motivated.
17. THEN - watched the video with the signing alphabet.
NOW - can sign a lot of the letters on his own (fine motor).
18. THEN - perseverated on "baby einstein videos" start to finish over and over again
NOW - broadened what he wants to watch - Blues Clues, Leap Frog, Bob the Builder, Wiggles, etc.
19. THEN - sensitive to sounds (e.g. Blender, vacuum, lawnmower, etc.)
NOW - takes a lot more for him to react to these, more tolerant
20. THEN - would completely melt down in a "public washroom" - too many unexpected noises
NOW - will go in without trouble and is tense, but not a complete mess
21. NOW - can print the alphabet, and write (with fine motor assistance) lots of words - "xylophone", "elephant", "airplane" (we don't really help he prints the whole thing out).
Changes Kelli noticed about herself:
22. Way more accepting of myself, life, Jordyn, etc.
23. Notice and interrupt my conversations like "I'm no fun", and create something fun.
24. Keep looking for areas where I can expand beyond where I normally would stop in communication and take actions... I can't expect him to expand himself, if I'm not doing the same.
25. Have learned to "let go" of control in the playroom and go with the flow.
Changes Michael noticed about himself:
26. Have more fun and feel more confident with Jordyn
27. More freedom to be with Jordyn
28. OK with Jordyn just the way his is - I don't need him to be someone else.
This site was last updated 10/02/07