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Back to school!

Updated: Oct 9, 2023

The new diet proved to have such a huge impact not only on Tula but the whole family. Mike had been a “glass half empty” kind of person for years. Now he had lost forty pounds and his outlook on life made a turn for the better. His anxiety was diminishing and he said he felt as though ‘the clouds had parted.” I felt I was living with a completely new man. I had been diagnosed with GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) and IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) in my twenties and had been on proton pump inhibitors for years to control my reflux. I’d endured chronic urinary tract infections and had been on many rounds of antibiotics. By starting the diet and adding fermented foods, I was able to nix the proton pump inhibitors I had been on for so long, and stopped getting UTI’s. Thalia’s chronic yeast infections were now gone.

Tula continued to make huge strides in her development. Meanwhile, with her ABA behavioral therapy, she started whipping through the lessons and excelling. She had been there for 10 months now and was working hard but was still exhausted when I picked her up at the end of the day. By the time she reached the car, she could feel comfortable enough to let it all out and cry. She insisted on holding my hand all the way home—in rush hour for thirty minutes—with my arm cranked behind me to reach her hand. Once in a while Mike would pick her up and he actually injured his shoulder doing just that—and it took years to heal. I began wondering if ABA was worth all of this effort, feeling a major part of Tula's improvement was due to her less foggy brain—she was thinking and processing so much better. I still believed that ABA was necessary for “catching up” with everything she couldn't grasp in the fog of autism, and her therapist at ABA kept telling me how impressed he was with her rapid growth, and admitted that he too felt this was a gut related condition. He recommended she start a dance class so he could observe how she followed directions in a different environment and she did great! The beginning of the school year was approaching, and right as I was questioning her continuing with the behavioral program, her therapist recommended drastically reducing Tula's time in ABA. She was fit to go back to preschool four mornings a week and have him or another therapist with her at school, and she would attend the ABA center just the fifth day!

I was so hopeful this day would come, when Tula could return to a regular school program, but there was a part of me that worried it wouldn’t. Now here it was and we were beyond thrilled for her to be around kids she could connect with! I was excited and relieved as well that an ABA therapist would be right there with her, helping us gauge whether she could keep up with the class.

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