When we confirmed Micah suffered with thyroid hormone deficiency from birth to 30 months old, we sought out professional/medical/scientific advice to determine if this was the cause of his autism or at least the cause of his inability to speak. During this journey, I’ll admit, I was a little worried about the comments I would receive about our journey with his autism.
Would I be accused of trying to “cure” his autism by seeking “biomedical intervention” even before we knew of a diagnosis? Would people think I was just trying to add guilt to the plate of other parents? How would my friends in the ASD community feel when I told them we now know WHY Micah is non-verbal and has a diagnosis of autism? Would they still support us? So far, we have received very positive feedback and we are glad to be connected with such an amazing group of parents: both biomed and non-biomed supporters!
Ok, here’s some of that SCIENCE I mentioned:
Timing of Thyroid Hormone Action in the Developing Brain: Clinical Observations and Experimental Findings
Summary: If the thyroid hormone deficiency occurs early in pregnancy, the offspring display problems in visual attention, visual processing (i.e. acuity and strabismus) and gross motor skills. If it occurs later in pregnancy, children are at additional risk of subnormal visual (i.e. contrast sensitivity) and visuospatial skills, as well as slower response speeds and fine motor deficits. Finally, if thyroid hormone insufficiency occurs after birth, language and memory skills are most predominantly affected.
Thyroid hormone exerts effects on the brain throughout development, but the specific effects are different as development proceeds. As you can see in the above graphic, if thyroid deficiency is after birth, the areas of language, verbal skills, memory, and motor function are affected.
His first SLP had the nerve to tell me that my dietary changes and search for medical reasons as to why he suffered with dry skin, puffiness around eyes, constipation, delayed growth, difficulty swallowing, cold hands/feet, jaundice, swollen belly, hoarse cry, fontanel closure after 2 years, coarse hair, food sensitivities, GERD, lethargy, nystagmus….that my search was pointless. That it was likely “just autism.”
Frankly, if we would have never went the “biomed” route, Micah still may be suffering from CH and we may not have picked up on Eli’s CH since the cut-offs are quite high in our state. In June 2012, the ball really started rolling after Eli was born and began treatment early. I wasn’t going to give up on what I knew to be true. I knew his health issues could no longer be blamed on “just autism.”
An autism diagnosis is made when a child/person meets certain “criteria.” How or why they got to that point is usually the mystery or “puzzle.” Genetics and environmental factors seem to be the concensus for a “cause.” In my son’s case, underdevelopment of areas of the brain that control motor function, language, and verbal skills resulted in his non-verbal ASD diagnosis. He may never speak. We will never know what could have been for him if his brain were allowed the appropriate amount of thyroid hormone during crucial times in his development. Never.
It’s all about timing. This is why it is never a good idea to “wait and see.”
– Mama Genius
#CH #Autism #NeverWaitAndSee | #ThyroidHealthMatters #OurCHildrenDeserveBetter