Earlier this month, the mom of an autistic boy who’s recovering well from his diagnosis wrote to tell me, “The other day he ran down the stairs while alternating [his feet], it was like he didn’t even think about it… it was so amazing to see.”
Wait a minute — isn’t that something kids do instinctively? What’s there to think about?
For four year old Kenny, the knack we take for granted has not come naturally. He’s been working on these motor skills for three years with the help of very dedicated and talented Physical Therapists, Chiropractors and his parents.
In the past couple of years, as we worked together, he has told his mother “I love you, mommy,” and asked her “Why are you sad, mommy?” Even as his speech developed and his echolalia stopped altogether, his coordination remained stuck.
Something remained out of sync. He would throw a ball backward, when he meant to throw it forward. He had a palmar grasp, had difficulty riding a bike, difficulty descending stairs with alternating feet. Something was blocked. The moment a homeopathic remedy lifted that obstacle, he did it all overnight, as if there had never been a problem.
I stumbled upon the remedies that enabled him to walk downstairs with alternating feet when his sister complained,
“It’s not as if he doesn’t know that I’m a girl. But he says “he” when he means “she!” He keeps switching his pronouns.”
Bingo! His acetylcholine system was out of sync. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter that fires at the neuromuscular sites. In plain English, it makes sure that our muscles work in harmony. In the brain, acetylcholine supports memory, learning and language. It may even have a role in modulating the immune system and our emotions.
When the functions of both the neuromuscular and memory are challenged, there is a very good chance that the acetylcholine system is out of balance. The diagnoses differ — Lou Gehrig’s, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, MS, among many others.
Last Saturday, I saw Kenny in my office. The moment he walked in, I could tell that he was a different person from when I last saw him three months ago. He walked like a Big Guy who owns the place. His eyes sparkled with mischief, and he called out, “That’s coffee!” as he caught a whiff of my secret pleasure. “I want to drink coffee!” Then “Music!” as he heard the almost inaudible music I had left playing on my laptop. No one else had noticed it.
He bossed around the toys in my office as he reacquainted himself with them. “I’m leaving Alligator outside the door,” he tells us as he finds an excuse to run outside. “I’m going to leave Wolf outside the door.” “I’m chillin’ out,” he explains as he went to sit in the nook outside after a few minutes. “Hey, there’s a vent!” he pointed out the ventilation holes in the ceiling.
For a whole hour, this little guy laughed, played and cooperated as his mom and I reviewed his progress. He made funny faces as we took selfies. Before, he would have tantrums after 20 minutes, at most. He ran in and out of the office, and he kidded around as if he was going to lose his balance. But it was intentional, like he was testing the limits of his body. He negotiated to run out to “check on my sister” and to play a game on the phone. Sure, he was quite loud. But he was no longer out of control as he used to be, when he asked for something and then lost interest in it within seconds. He could gather his attention and let it rest.
His mom noticed that when he could walk downstairs with both feet, his development took off dramatically. Every day, his parents noticed that he was saying and doing something new. His speech became clearer. He could sit and do a lesson for an hour before fidgeting. He sets out little traps for his mom and gestures to his dad to not let her know. He toilet trained himself completely, from taking off his pants to flushing the toilet and washing his hands. Even when hungry, he complained, yet he waited.
It’s a beautiful transformation.