We first met Kay at age 6 in 2008. He was first diagnosed with ASD at age 3. Kay’s mom first heard about AIT during a seminar in Mall of Asia that she attended.
Kay’s interventions include GFCF diet, ABA, low oxalate diet, occupational therapy, biomedical intervention, speech therapy and HBOT.
Kay has inconsistent eye contact, he has problems with language development and interpreting body language. He is very fixated on his Thomas trains and loves spinning objects like fans. He has hyperacute hearing and hears sounds more loudly than others. Sounds like the hair dryer bother him.
When Kay was born, he had sub-arachnoidal hemorrhage and had to stay in the ICU for two weeks wherein he also had jaundice and hypoglycemia. He was a picky eater and would gag at lumpy food and fruits. He had allergies to dairy. He was constipated and also suffered from diarrhea.
He was sensory defensive in terms of taste, olfactory and auditory. He has a bionic memory and would recall places like where the car is parked. He would often overreact over TV commercials about hair and laundry products. He would toe walk, spin and hand flap. He had poor listening skills. . He rarely interacts with his peers and is particularly attached to his mother. He is able to empathize with babies crying and he would also pretend that his toys are crying.
He has a lot of stims. He doesn’t follow instructions well. He lacks self-discipline. He is withdrawn and has a tendency to shut down under pressure. He has adverse reactions to physical touch and unusual reactions to noise. He has poor gross motor skills and is “wobbly”. He wets his bed at night.
He generally has poor focus, but is able to hyperfocus on things that he obsesses about.
Mom wishes for Kay to have more verbal interactions. Mom hopes that Kay becomes less sensitive to sounds, especially that of the blow dryer. Mom would like Kay to lose his deathly fear of the barber. She would like for him to become more verbal/conversational. She also would like Kay to pay more attention to verbal instructions. She would like to see Kay begin to socialize with peers and classmates as well as other kids. She wishes that he would be able to relate how he feels and what happened on his day at school/therapy center in a more complex manner.
During the evaluation, he was unable to draw on the drawing sheet provided or comply with instructions given.
Improvements of Kay after the 1st round of AIT:
Kay is able to concentrate longer . He no longer flits from one thing to another.
He no longer takes others by wrist to use their hand to open doors or get objects.
He no longer needs instructions repeated several times.
He is motivated to learn.
He still gives odd or inappropriate responses to conversation.
He now tolerates social contact
His echolalia improved, repeating sentences and phrases has lessened
He has a faster response to simple questions compared to before.
He still hates to have a haircut
He responds better now whenever his name is called.
He is not as easily startled by sound as before.
He still turns on the music loud.
He has less issues with delayed toilet training and blowing his nose. He is better able to dress now but still requires assistance.
Tantrums are not as bad as before.
He doesn’t like to told “no”.
He is not as picky with food as before.
Improvements after the 2nd round of AIT
Kay showed a lot of improvement after the 2nd round of AIT in the areas of language. He no longer needs instructions repeated as often. He no longer has problems recalling what was heard last week, month, year. He is better at relating to what he hears. He is better motivated to learn. He has longer attention span. He speaks even without being prompted. He no longer comes to situations “without a clue”. He no longer tries to read facial expressions.
His organizational skills have improved. He knows the appropriate use of toys. He no longer withdraws from family gatherings. He no longer has distorted speech.
He still has delayed response to verbal stimuli. He has better comprehension compared to before, but it is limited to basics. He likes to hum and makes noises to himself and give inappropriate responses to conversation.
He has poor handwriting and difficulty in spelling (although this skill has improved, Kay can spell basic words only). He speaks too fast and can be fixated on gong to certain places.
Kay doesn’t like to have haircuts. He likes putting his ears next to the TV speaker. He easily responds when his name is called. He no longer hears things ahead of everyone else. He has lost most of his issues with regards to tactile sensitivity.
In terms of self-help, Kay is very much toilet trained. He can blow his nose by himself. He only needs assistance when it comes to dressing up.
Kay still loves to spin things and has difficulty using public bathrooms that are dark and cluttered.
Many of his previous behaviors have been resolved like tantrums, repetitive watching of videos, fixations on a topic. Routine is still very important to him. He no longer lines his toys up. He is less picky. He is able to accept being told “ no”. He is more aware now of dangerous things compared to before.
Current issues are mostly auditory in nature: Kay has a fear of heights, certain TV commercials and hates large exhaust fans in hospital elevators.
2013 AIT Therapist’s Observation:
On Kay first day, he keeps on trying to remove the headphones.
On Kay’s 3rd day of AIT:
Before listening to AIT, Kay was not behaving, keeps on talking and laughing.
Mom asked: “ What do you like, we go to the dentist or here AIT?
Kay answered: “ Stephanie.”
While listening to the AIT music, Kay keeps on laughing (tries to tickle himself and laugh.)
On Kay’s 4th Day:
Kay is very restless. He tries to remove the headphone since day 1.
After the therapy ended, Mom ask Kay to say good-bye to the therapist but he doesn’t want, so he was ask to give a handshake.
Kay complied and shakes hands with therapist and said, “Good-bye Doodles” with a smile on his face.
From Mommy’s Diary:
2013 6th day
When Kay had a conversation with his Daddy on his 6th day, he noticed that Kay can answer more questions than before, Kay was more focused. He immediately complied when his Daddy called him. Kay was more articulate when asked, like when, “ Ask what he listened to from the headset?” Kay answered, “ Lullaby ” without prompting.
His Tita also noted more focus from Kay in studying his lessons. His Teacher Tita was able to introduce multiplication for the first time.
Kay was noticeably attentive and patient while working. Kay’s fear of heights was also partially addressed. Kay can go down the stairs by himself with minimum assistant versus having to grab Mommy’s whole body and both arms before while walking down the stairs.
Kay is also calmer – he doesn’t get upset easily or doesn’t get irritated much by the ads in the TV.
When Kay arrives at the center , he usually is excited and immediately went to the C.R and urinate, this is his routine every morning.
On his session he is excited, giggles and laughs.
While waiting for his turn for AIT, he was asked if where he did go for his 3 hours break.
Kay looked and answered: “ Shangrila.”
On his 10th day of AIT.
Was asked to do some worked (writing, colouring and drawing).
While doing his work, Mom notice that he doesn’t focused while colouring the shape (oval), keeps on smiling and laughing, but when prompted to focus on what he is doing, he immediately complies.
In writing his name, he does it by spelling the letters and wrote it in the sheet. He followed instructions when asked to write his name on the 3 lines.
Conversation while writing his name:
Kay keeps saying, “Yummy, Mushroom Noodles”
“Yummy, Lucky Me Noodles”
He smiled when answered back, “ Yummy, Lucky Me Pancit Canton?” Kay answered back “No, Yummy, Lucky Me Noodles” and went back writing his name.
He is more focused now when ask to draw the following: SUN, RAINBOW, FACE, HOUSE, CIRCLE and NUMBER 8.
One month after AIT
Kay seemed to have become irritable and seemed to have lost calmness and focus that he has gained immediately after AIT. He was always crying and throwing tantrums although he was communicating better than before.
In July, Kay had some change of diet. He takes more beef fat soup (bulalo), duck eggs, buffalo’s milk and has started taking organic sulphur (MSM).
4 months after AIT:
Kay has significant improvement in terms of communicating with others – he can now converse in 1-2 detail levels. He can answer what, why and who questions (the latter being most difficult for him). He can report incidents that happened yesterday last week or last month. He usually speaks in the third person.
He likes playing games with his teachers, parents and other relatives – his favourite is tag-running. He can now sustain playing more age-appropriate games like monopoly. He is more observant of what is happening around him and tends to imitate other children – like yesterday at church, he observed that a boy in front of us stepped out and went into the garden to pick flowers. Kay commented “Why did he go there?” When mom said it’s ok, Kay also stepped out to pick a flower and showed it to his mom.
Kay can now go to the barber, sit on the chair without prodding and finish the haircut without crying. He even gives a tip to the barber.
Kay’s handwriting has improved significantly. He would now engage in writing words like Yes, No, names of his classmates, names of airplanes – on a blank paper or on the white board. He as gained interest in the calendar and days of the week. He is anticipating his birthday this year and has communicated how he wants to celebrate – Jollibee party, Shinkansen cake, cupcake giveaways with popsicle stick picture of shinkansen on top, train engineer’s costume.
Kay has gone a long way. AIT and a combination of therapies and alternative health practices as well as GFCF have given Kay’s parent’s hope.
Kay’s story is one example of a devoted mother who begins her journey with the single step of acceptance . She has tried to learn and apply everything that she has discovered about Autism. Kay still has his autism, but what matters to his mother is that he can communicate better and that he is more capable of handling his sensory issues.
Autism is a journey that will take many parents thousands of miles to discover the path to recovery if only they are willing to take that single first step.