Dougie came into the world in the usual way — with ten fingers, ten toes, his father’s nose, and as the absolute most beautiful person his parents ever met.
Before Dougie could even scream at the terror of the delivery room’s bright lights, he was grabbed by a team of 13 doctors who sucked fluid from his lungs, measured his vital signs and spoke gibberish back and forth to each other.
He was placed in my epidural-numbed arms, after 10 long minutes of dealing with the white coat wearing men who called him “perfection.”
Simon and Garfunkel’s Greatest Hits rang from the speakers above my bed – melting the sound of the many wires and pumps that were still connected to me. I felt so blessed to be a mom, and Dougie was ecstatic to be a baby. He slept in my arms for hours.
Don’t even ask if I slept. He was just too amazing to look at!
Dougie got his first immunization before my epidural even wore off, and I signed consent with numb fingers. I would do everything in my power to keep him healthy and happy!
Dougie took his first steps at 8 months old, while I was out to lunch with a girl friend – isn’t that always the case? He said “uh oh” at 9 months and could identify colors at 12 months. At this point, my husband and I reveled in the wonder of our little genius who ate organic, loved his zucchini and never needed medication!
Then somewhere between 12-24 months, Dougie changed.
He experienced chronic ear and throat infections, and suffered through 5 rounds of back to back antibiotics. He stopped talking. He stopped walking. He stopped answering to his name. He could stare at the wall for hours. He became insensitive to physical pain. He tantrummed all day and night. Now, our little zucchini loving toddler would only eat PIZZA!
I knew that I was looking at autism.
The one concept that didn’t click with me, though—was the whole “mystery” behind autism theory. I knew that I had a brilliant child and that I would get him back.
So, against pretty much everyone’s advice – Dougie and I took a journey through natural healing, beginning with the Body Ecology Diet. Addressing his digestive tract infection (that began at birth and was worsened by vaccines,illness and antibiotics) helped take care of his pizza cravings, and soon after introducing healing foods like young coconut kefir, his body craved what it really needed. We are now discovering a boy far more brilliant than I could even imagine.
When Dougie was 3 and a half he received an official diagnosis of autism, after about a year of evaluating him through the Chicago Public School System. By that time in 2006 after going on a probiotic-rich raw food diet, Dougie had already started his own cover band, covering songs from stars like Kanye West, Jason Mraz, Gwen Stefani and Elmo. He also began reading words. and helping me in the kitchen with green smoothie making.
Dougie is 6 now, and he communicates everything on his mind quite clearly. He spent a year at Waldorf School and loved it. He takes yoga and drum class, helps around the house, dresses himself, plays games, jokes with us, and dispels the myths of the autism label each and every day.
Together, Dougie and I have used energy healing, sensory learning, movement, art and pure love and devotion for each other to help him break through and align with his true self. He is really the greatest healer I know.
We are now beginning an unschooling/ unschooling adventure that we expect to knock our socks off.
For him, I open my heart to other families who wish this kind of joy in their lives.
Gina (Douigie’s Mom)