Heidi’s Holistic Health Guide from A to Z

Good News! Autism is Treatable and Can be Beat-able! There is Hope and Affordable Help!

This good news may never come from your pediatrician nor government agency, but the truth is – there are countless individuals who have recovered from autism or are being significantly helped! All over America, joyous parents report the recovery of their autistic children using the ARI—(formerly DAN!) bio-medical protocol. Unfortunately, the cost is very expensive, can be rather invasive to sensitive individuals, and the average family cannot afford this help for their loved ones diagnosed on the autism spectrum. With its many complexities misunderstandings, America is losing this war. Children are sick, teens are disconnected and restless, marriages and families are fractured.

Elayne and Rodney Pearson's fourth daughter, Heidi, was born with Down syndrome and was a sweet, smart, friendly child. Years later, she was dual-diagnosed with late-onset autism. After years of intense challenges, the Pearsons turned from the modern medical model of vaccines, drugs, and surgery to embrace affordable drug-free methods which significantly improved their daughter. The family weathered the storms and today, the Pearson's mission is to share and equip other families with a rainbow of affordable tools, commonsense strategies, and natural remedies to restore health and well-being. Here are some of Heidi's Holistic Help from A - Z:

(Disclaimer: Authors are not doctors. These resources helped this family, yet cannot guarantee success. Prices are approximate.)

A - Acupressure - A non-invasive form of Chinese acupuncture, instead of needles on the meridian points of the body, it is hands-on pressure. Acupressure can help the flow of energy or life force. Heidi tends to get somewhat "spacey" so simply holding my hands firmly on her shoulders or around her ankles for a few minutes helps calm, balance, and ground her. (FREE & EASY)

Affirmations - Posting visual reminders of positive thoughts and goals really can work. They help replace negative thought patterns and help us see life in a different light. A phrase is more effective if done in the present tense—even if it feels like a stretch. Refrain from using the words No and Don't. Examples: I Leave the Past in the Past, Nourish Today to Flourish Tomorrow. The phrase Angels are Among Us helped me remember I can call on my spiritual support system at anytime, anywhere. (FREE & EASY)

Aromatherapy - The sense of smell is the quickest way to the brain. Studies indicate aromatherapy has a wide variety of uses, ranging from insomnia and anxiety, to relieving symptoms of PMS. Just smelling certain aromas (think - fresh orange!) is quite energizing. Vanilla candles usually offer feelings of cozy comfort. Essential oils of lavender and florals give us a sense of well-being. Oils in a diffuser can disinfects your household air. Oils are an easy way to help Heidi stay more alert. (Easy, available, & approx $15.)

Art Therapy - Art is a wonderful way to express one's emotions, especially if they are unable to verbalize. There are many fun and economical means to convey one's self—artistically. (Even tearing paper can help vent frustration.) Heidi finger painted an amazing volcano which we framed and hung.  When she was older, she enjoyed museum's quiet atmosphere, art work, and displays.

B - Bach Flower Essences - These homeopathic remedies have been used for decades in Europe, and are known for their ability to gently and gradually balance negative emotions. They're called vibrational medicine and the drops and cream are safe for infants or pregnant women and doesn't interfere with prescriptions. The dosage is 4 drops, 4 X a day. Heidi would not let me put the drops under her tongue—an easy alternative was putting them in her drinking or bathwater. (At health food stores. About $15.)

Balls - This universal toy has been used through the ages, but look at the benefits! It's a great way to get moving. Large balls are used by therapists to help with trunk strength and balance. They also help with eye-hand coordination. Heidi has several types and would roll them back and forth or shoot baskets for hours. We got a child's basketball standard for indoor use. (Easy & cheap)

Bentonite Clay - With its diverse uses, this powder is something everyone should learn about! Clay is a natural source of minerals. It is affordable, safe, and a natural healing agent which can be made into a paste and used externally for hives, exema, and acne—as well as internally to help heal and seal "leaky gut" in the GI track. A superb detoxifier, we use it for food poisoning. We get a glass of water, stir in a Tbs. of Redmond clay powder and let it settle to the bottom. It draws out impurities. (Redmond brand $10.)

Brushing - Skin brushing helps the lymphatic system remove toxins, and is often recommended for children with sensory sensitivities. Use a soft brush and stroke the skin towards the heart. Skin brushing is a safe, inexpensive method to help everyone. However, Heidi would not let me do it before bathing, so after her bath, I used the towel to dry her skin in a similar manner. (Free)

C - Chakra Balancing - We have 7 energy centers called chakras which filter every thought and experience. When these are clogged or unbalanced, emotional and physical illness can arise. Google a colored chart online so you can visualize recharging you or your loved one's chakras. When Heidi is sleeping I use a small clockwise motion with my hand over each area. (Free/easy)

Color Therapy - There is a definite "personality" or vibration to every color and it subtly affects us. Even wearing or being around certain colors can help balance your body. If you need confidence, wear red! But for some, it's just too much. If your child is having a hard time sleeping, consider removing giant robots, dinosaurs, or super-heroes on the bedroom walls. When I was selecting paint for Heidi's bedroom I knew she loved the beach, so I did the walls aqua/turquoise and the carpet tan. (Free & easy)

Cooking - Creating anything is a great satisfaction, and cooking may be a key. We all need to cook from scratch more to avoid the harmful chemical flavorings, dyes, and fillers, so go for it! Heidi could cook quite a few things with help—it's just that we needed to be patient in the process, and start before we're starved! Even if it's putting tooth picks in chunks of fruit or cheese, do it!

CranioSacral Therapy - This can balance the central nervous system. Using light pressure the therapist adjusts the membranes to free the flow of cerebrospinal fluid which bathes the brain and spinal column. This gentle, non-invasive, effective treatment is documented by science and personal testimonies. Adjustments are made with pressure equal to the weight of a nickel. Before cranial, Heidi couldn't nap—even though tired. After we found this protocol, she could fall asleep more easily. (Approx $50)

D - Dance Therapy - Is there anything more joyful than dancing children? Beyond that, it's a great way to express hidden emotions, stretch your body, and interact. Rod let Heidi's mood determine the choice of music. If she was hyper we put in calming music and vice versa. Unfortunately, our city didn't offer a special-needs class, yet I would have jumped at the chance. (Free & easy)

Dermal Scanning Computers - These remarkable computers easily and effectively scan the body for over 2,000 allergies, chemical intolerances, deficiencies, and heavy metals. Using acupressure points of the body to determine the imbalances and sensitivities, "Meridian Stress Assessments" assists in determining what organs or systems are weakened, then creates a remedy formulated just for that patient. With Heidi's sensitivities, it was a bit tricky - but worth it. Our whole family has used this. (Apx. $40)

Diet - This is probably the single most important element to all of our health and well-being—but is a struggle for so many of us. I come from a family who loves carbohydrates and comfort food. I found if I could take time when I was rested and clear thinking to buy, or prepare foods ahead of time, we did much better. I also wasn't willing to give up fun snacks and treats, so I started getting healthy versions at health food stores (yes, they do have soda pop!). When eating out, I try to eat the healthiest thing I can. (varies)

E - Enzymes Therapy - To breakdown food for proper digestion, the body needs enzymes. Studies show it's important to eat smaller meals in raw forms because cooking kills enzymes. Also, processed foods, dairy, caffeine, sugar, and alcohol overtax the body. Individuals on the autism spectrum have an especially hard time breaking down and absorbing food properly, so digestive enzymes help. Heidi refuses a gluten/casein free diet, so we try to give her enzymes with meals. She also doesn't chew well, so these help. I open, dump, and stir capsules in applesauce/yogurt. (A great high-enzymes food is fresh pineapple, so we have it frequently.)

Emotional Clearing - Very few dispute the fact that emotions and traumatic experiences play a powerful role in our physical health. There are many methods to rebalance negative, distorted emotions into their proper perspectives, like Rapid Eye Technology (RET), the BodyTalk system, or Tapas Acupressure Technique (TAT). A book which can teach you how to do it yourself is Feelings Buried Alive Never Die . . . by Karol Truman. Living with Down syndrome and autism in our home was hard, and I can't express how helpful it was to occasionally clear my emotions. Since Heidi and I are connected by love - it rippled to her. ($50)

Epsom Salt - This old fashioned remedy for sprains, constipation, and tired feet has had a reappearance in the autism-recovery community. It is simply crystals of magnesium sulfate. The magnesium reduces swelling, relaxes muscles, and is calming to the mind. The sulfate component is a natural detoxifying agent. The best part about Epsom salts is that they are super cheap and available at almost any store. We use them a lot for Heidi - a couple of handfuls in a hot bathtub for about a half hour. (Approx $2)

Essential Oils - For centuries, essential oils from plants, trees, fruits, and flowers have benefitted mankind. They have incredible healing properties, ranging from being anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-septic, anti-tumoral, and MORE! They are concentrated, effective, safe, and noninvasive to apply.  A drop of peppermint oil on the back of Heidi neck helped her focus in school. At night, lavender was calming. We use wonderful blends of frankincense and myrrh to help the immune and nervous system. (From $7 up)

F - Feng shui - (Fung-shway) The Chinese understand the need for moderation and balance in all things, especially our own homes. This decorating concept is often seen using curved lines, vs. sharp corners and elements representing earth's wood, water, metal, and fire thoughtfully placed. All this is fine, but the most important concept is realizing all things resonate energy. When our house is cluttered, so is my mind—Heidi's too. If something has a bad memory I give it away. Sorting is not easy—I need help! (Free)

"Fluff up" Aura - The aura is the energy field which surrounds your body. Some gifted people can see it and a Kirlian camera can capture it on film. When we have had surgery, been sick, or are over doing it, the aura is diminished and we are more vulnerable to microbes, negative thoughts, and even dark energies. Since the aura is energy, I knew using positive thoughts, hand movements, and intentions "fluffed up" Heidi's aura. Quickly rolling my hands in a small circle around her helped protect her. (Free)

Foot Zoning - Foot zoning is a non-invasive process that can help improve the blood flow in the body release blockages of energetic flow and therefore improve the balance of the body. Similarly, reflexologists massage certain areas of the hands, feet, and ears that correspond and support a specific part of the body. At first, Heidi had overly sensitive feet and didn't like it, but the more we detoxified her, gave her supplements it calmed her ticklishness. Usually her liver was very clogged and this helped. (Aprx.  $40.)

G - Gardening - Working with flowers, vegetables, soil, water, and sunshine are very therapeutic. Plus, according to Jordan Rubin, N.M.D., founder of Garden of LIfe, playing and working in dirt can be a natural resource to help build your family's immune systems with microbes. Exposing children can help introduce/educate the body to not overreact to every allergen/antigen around. Heidi's cousin, also disabled, plans to raise and donate/sell organic veggies to his neighborhood. (moderate investment/big pay-off)

Gemstone Therapy - Everything emits a vibration, whether it's plants, colors, or people. Stones and rocks do, too. Holistic healers have known for centuries gemstones resonate and offer another safe healing tool from Mother Nature. Heidi is not interested in plastic jewelry at all, but she loves necklaces made with wooden beads or real gemstones. Rose Quartz is a great fit for her— as it balances the 4th (heart) chakra. It is a soothing, calming stone which dispels stored anger, jealousy, fear, grief. (Apx $16)

Grass - Walking barefooted in grass and soil is called Earthing, and is said to pull free electrons from our bodies. After being at the computer a lot, it helps me feel grounded and less "spacey." Even walking along a sidewalk in a busy city, I can stop a moment and touch a tree, plant, or bush to "reboot" my system. Heidi hates her shoes off, so we do picnics sitting on grass. (Free)

Guided Imagery - The mind's eye is an amazing tool which can help interrupt cycles of tension, fear, or obsessive thoughts and actions. People through the years testify that by using one's imagination, you can decrease discomfort, pain, and even cancerous tumors. Our daughters loved it when we did this for fun, sporting competitions, or pageants. I guiding with words as we floated in a hot air balloon, visited foreign countries, spoke to animals, or had musical instruments share their wisdom. (Free & easy)

H - Hair Cuts - Scientists know the hair has our DNA, but few realize it also holds memory imprints of our experiences. It can be very liberating to get a haircut. I know mothers who bought a hair trimmer, so they can buzz the hair of their sensitive sons with ASD at home. A wise woman advised me to cut my hair after a very dark and difficult phase with Heidi. I was amazed! Some moms I know swap services of ironing or computer help with their hair stylists to save money. (Consider "bartering" to help cut expenses.)

Herbal Medicines - Mankind has been using plants and herbs to eat and sustain health forever. Thanks to Mother Nature and knowledgeable herbalists, there are excellent combinations of herbs for every ill known to man. Most parents are just hesitant to begin and estimate dosages, etc.. Synthetic drugs are hard on the liver, our body's main filter, but realize the body can recognize plant-based supplements in capsules, tablets, or tinctures so very few side-effects result. Get some professional help or books and remember they are basically plants, so they're very safe. Heidi's recovery was greatly helped by herbs. (Apx $17 a bottle)

Homeopathy - This safe, easy, effective method has been used since the 1800s and is approved by the FDA.  The general principle is that any substance which can produce symptoms of a disease in a healthy person, can help someone who is ill, get better (similar to vaccine concepts). Homeopathy comes in drops, pellets, or tablets. The more diluted the remedy— the more powerful. It sounds like a stretch, but has been successful the world over. Heidi used the drops. (Don't store them by electrical outlets.) (Varies)

Humor Therapy - Remember the movie about Dr. Patch Adams? Laughter does dozens of marvelous things for the body,

including creating endorphins which give a sense of well-being. Not only does laughter support the immune system, you might not realize it's also a method of expelling rather forcefully, stagnant energy, chi, or emotions. People are surprised when I say watching sit-coms at night helped both Rod and I heal our cancer. We desperately needed laughter. Who knew TV was good? (Free & easy)

I - Ionic Foot Spa - A 30 minute foot soak in water with an imperceptible ionic current, which draws out impurities through the pores of the feet.  (You will be surprised how your water looks afterwards!) Keep in mind some helpful minerals may slip out in the process, so it's essential to replace them with a drink of electrolytes. We usually had a small packet of powdered electrolytes and minerals called Emergen-C drinks. Heidi enjoyed this soothing detoxification process — her water was copper colored! (Apx. $ 35.00)

Iridology - This precise study of the eye's iris (the colored part) is a fascinating method to see what is going on in the body. The iris is actually a mini map, and trained technicians can pin-point weakened organs, deficiencies and potential problems early on. After years of invasive lab draws, I was thrilled Heidi could simply sit quietly while our provider looked close with a bright light and a magnifying glass (some use special cameras). The analysis and recommendations were parallel to old lab tests. (Painless. Apx. $40.)

J - Join Hands - Like so many things on this holistic list from A-Z, holding hands is another free, easy, and available tool that anyone can do—yet we tend to forget about it. Folks, they actually have studies to back this up! Simply holding the hand or touching another caring individual can build waning energy, elevate emotions, and restore strength. There were times when Heidi rejected us and it was hard to cope, but holding my husband's or daughters hands while watching TV helped. Today, Heidi will join hands! (Free)

Journal - Diaries and journals have helped countless people to gain clearer perspectives, vent pent up emotions, and set their minds to rest. Oprah introduced the "Gratitude Journal" to the world, inviting us to think of three specific things (don't just say my kids) for which we are thankful for—on a daily basis. Most anyone who has done this say it changes your life! Journals are also a good way to document progress or events with your loved one with special needs. It's been helpful to reread our journey. (Minimal)

 

Juicing - Machines which extract juice from raw vegetables and fruits have been touted by bodybuilder and health expert Jack Lalanne for decades, but they truly are a power house of nutrients, and live enzymes. (He died at age 96!) Parents have a hard time getting veggies down their families, and juicing is a great way to do it. I felt that even if Heidi had a few swallows of carrot juice it was better than nothing. Generally, she didn't drink a lot, but Rod and I did so we could maintain the stress and strain. ( $35 - 250.)

Jumping - Jumping is a really excellent exercise, (think of boxers in training!) yet ASD individuals who often have skewed vestibular systems (balance) find it scary and hard.  Jumping on a trampoline is a fun, easy way to enjoy this exercise Books on rebounding (mini-tramps) indicate they actually affect the body on a cellular level, and help the flow of a stagnant lymphatic system. We insist Heidi jump on the tramp between her beloved movies. She loves the inflatables at "Bounce warehouses."(Mini-Tramp $35)

K - Kinesiology - Muscle testing has been used successfully for decades. The human body is an electrical being and the innate or spirit has wisdom beyond our conscious understanding. Read up on this, because it is non-invasive, safe, and available. I used this method quite a lot to pinpoint sensitivities or weakness for Heidi and got remarkably accurate answers that helped. (Free)

Kites - We've all seen 'em and maybe you know the thrill of having one soar to the clouds! This can be a fun hobby, goal, or simply a liberating experience for people without mobility. Note—the wind may be a bit much for some sensitive individuals. Kites come in all shapes and price ranges, but don't need to be fancy to be fun. Heidi references much of life to her Disney movies, so we have to sing Let's Go Fly a Kite from Mary Poppins whenever we do this. (We also reference Poppins for carousels!) ($3.00 and up)

 

L - Light  Box - The brain needs sunlight - and some life and seasonal circumstances create a lack. Living without enough sunshine can disrupt the brain chemistry. Doctors call it seasonal affected disorder and prescribe drugs. Other scientist have found a drug-free way to trick the brain into thinking there is sunshine—from simulated light boxes with full-spectrum bulbs. I bought a used light box and could really feel a sense of well-being after sitting in front of it. Don't forget to open the curtains and windows. (Varies)

Love - Don't underestimate this, for it is, in truth, possibly the most important concept in the universe. There were complex times when all we could do for Heidi was to send her our unconditional love and accepter her for who she was. It was tricky, but I know it's needed more for every one of us. People with special need often have special gifts, and one of Heidi's was that she could read our thoughts! Once we finally figured this out, it taught us a good lesson to restrain our reactions, words, and thoughts. (Free)

M -  Massage - You don't have to go to a fancy massage therapist to have this wonderful experience. Put a beach towel on the bed, soothing music in, and let your loved one relax in a swimming suit, while you rub chemical free lotion or oils on them. Since we knew Heidi most likely wouldn't marry or be in a sexual relationship, I realized she still needs loving touch; massage helps. (Apx.$50)

Minerals - These are vital to help the human body function properly, so read up on it. While vitamins and minerals can be an expense, month after month, there are ways to cut costs. Some vitamin/herb shops will sell in bulk bins and you can make your own capsules for a fraction of the cost of the ready-made bottles. My family liked the powdered packets you add to water. (Varies)

Music Therapy - Musical instruments are a great form of expression, especially for those with an inability to speak well. It's a beautiful thing to witness disabled individuals feel the magic of music—in any form, be it drums, bells, or chimes. Vibration and pitch and from Tibetan brass bowls, tuning forks, and various chimes are forms of sound therapy, which resonate in a variety of cool ways. We've had wooden wind chimes through the years which I find soothing, yet Rod feel are annoying. Heidi really likes all music, especially orchestrations. At bedtime, she played the beautiful soundtrack from Disney's Bambi for years. (Check out thrift stores)

N - Naps - This autism business can be exhausting, especially if your child doesn't sleep well at night! Naps are one of the best ways to help recharge your body, mind, and spirit. Sometimes you'll have to arrange for someone to watch your child like an older sibling or respite care provider. Naps were my salvation before we did interventions for Heidi. Rod tried to nap on weekends. (Free)

Nature - This is an all time favorite strategy to being health and wellbeing into your life. When you are around nature, you just feel better. We know that everything emits a vibration or frequency and nature has very high, healing vibrations, so get plants in your home. Sometimes all I could do to look at the clouds in the sky, lean against a tree and feel of its strength and goodness. (Free)

NUCCA Chiropractic - (National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association) A highly specialized training using very light pressure around the temporal mandibles joint (TMJ) which helps structural realignment of the head, jaw, neck, shoulders, spine, and hips. My husband, Rod swears he would travel to Scotland for this, if he had to! After having treatments for Heidi, it helped her "head become connected to her body." She became more aware, and at 16, was able to sleep dry at night. (Apx. $60 for treatments)

NAET Allergy Desensitization - A technique named after the doctor who developed it. Dr. Devi Nambudripad's research indicates most illnesses are allergy related and can be neutralized by a very non-invasive technique. It works on an energy level and does not involve injections, needles, or irritating scratch tests. Bear in mind there usually needs to be several basic allergies tested and cleared first. We cleared Heidi's sensitivity to gluten, casein, and peanuts - just to name a few. Yea! (Approx. $60 per visit)

O - Oils - There are some oils that just are not good for us, and there are good-for-you oils. Not so healthy choices are lard, shortening, margarine, and hydrogenated oils. Man has messed with these and butter is actually better for you). Other great oils are olive oil, flax seed oil, and essential oils to name a few. We use coconut oil externally on Heidi like a lotion, because it's full of good benefits. I use it to remove make-up, soften elbows, knees, and heels. It's great for wind-burn, sun burn and peeling, too. (Apx  $8.)

P - Perspiration - Our creator designed our bodies with several pathways to excrete waste and toxins (urine, bowels, tears, and sweat), so it is counterproductive to block this natural mechanism. Rethink old ways and read labels. The key is to switch your antiperspirants (which block the expelling process) for deodorants (which control odor). Old Spice has one; we also like the crystal (brand) mineral salt rock. Knowing Heidi has impaired detoxification, we encourage activities which generate sweating. (Free & easy)

Pet Therapy - This is a tried and true method offers individuals with challenges companionship, safety, and self esteem. Quite often in the autism community, animals help the owner connect in a beautiful way. Horse therapy is helpful to strengthen the trunk and aid in balance and confidence. Pets are also a good way to give responsibility and teach children other beings have feelings and needs. Currently, Heidi has two dogs and she loves them dearly. The smaller one really brings out her motherly instincts. (Varies)

Prayer - No matter what the religion or belief system, countless people have attributed prayer as a meaningful support amongst adversity. Different forms/styles resonate with various individuals. Our Family offers gratitude before eating. As children of God, prayer is like calling home every day. Morning and night, we try to kneel in prayer and ask for protection, strength, and needed guidance. Some of our favorite memories are sweet and sincere prayers by Heidi—I swear angels are among us. (Free and easy)

Puzzles - Most folks think of these as a hobby or past time, but puzzles can also be great tools for perception, eye-hand coordination, and problem solving skills. For many people they present an inexpensive way to satisfying that rare—and sometime elusive—feeling of accomplishment. Remember, there is a wide variety of difficulty with puzzles, so bear in mind the primary person it's for. It was neat to witness how Heidi was able to stick with the challenge. Sometime we helped get her started. (Cheap and easy)

Q - Quantum-Touch - This form of energy medicine is a hand-on method.  The concept of sending loving, healing energy to anyone who is injured or ill is simple and accessible. I took a class by Richard Gordon and was impressed by it. Learn how, you'll be glad you did.  Heidi's older sister, Lacey, used this beautifully easy method to heal several old acne scars on her face! (Free and easy)

Quiet Therapy - There is something healing and good about solitude, but it's rarely found in today's hectic society. Folks with disabilities usually need down time to decompress and "recharge their inner batteries." Many people diagnosed on the autism spectrum have very acute sense of hearing and sight, too. A cheap and easy tool that is soothing is to dim the lights down and light a candle. There's a peaceful ambiance and vibration from candles. After big events, we always plan on giving Heidi quiet time. (Free)

Qigong (Chi-Kung) - Started over 5,000 years ago, when Chinese scholars concluded that everything is energy.  (Millennias later, Albert Einstein reach the same conclusion!) Qigong helps redirect the flow of energy in your body to balance and regain—or maintain—optimal health and wellness. There are many different styles, so find one that works for you. I really like a Tai Chi DVD I have with its slow, graceful movements. It helps balance my abundance of physical energy and slow my racing thoughts. (Varies)

R - Reading - A fun library book is a cheap way to transport us from the here and now where you're only surviving—but what if your reading could improve your here and now—so you would thrive in the everyday realities? Reading was our way to help Heidi untangle the cocoon of autism and crack her shell so she could fly again. I am so thankful for information from books from health food stores about general health-recovery. Knowledge is power, so try your library, or listen to CDs and I-tunes that teach. (Apx $20.)

Reiki - This is a safe energy-balancing method from Asian cultures. A practitioner usually helps with this form of energy work. Usually not hands-on but above the body. Some sensitive people can feel shifts by a warm sensation. (Non-invasive, Apx $70)

Return Safely - One big challenge families with a child with autism face is wandering away. For Heidi it was RUNNING away. We got a metal ID bracelet, and I sewed a cute safety harness just for her (from pet supply items). I took her photo to the police and explained our unique circumstances (called Tagging). I have some small cards explaining autism issues for ignorant on-lookers on trips (from TACA). I like the ones that say, "You may think my child is ill-behaved, he is actually physically ill, etc." (Varies)

S - Service - This is a tried and true method to boost morale. It needn't be extravagant, expensive, or extensive, but it works! Heidi needed to feel the joy of caring for babies, so she helped hold some triplets in our neighborhood. Beautiful experience!  She also needed to help contribute to our community, so we started a aluminum recycling service by her. She earned a little too. (Free)

Special Olympics - This marvelous program has been around for decades, and is still a good way to boost anyone's spirits. There are a wide variety of areas to participate in and individuals compete with others who are around their own capacity, which is nice. It's a great way to encourage exercise, skills, courage, and achievements. Heidi wore her metals for months! (Free)

Sunshine - New studies indicate vitamin D levels are low in most US citizens. Sunshine to the rescue! Just 15 min. can boost energy and moods in a natural, safe and enjoyable way. Several sunscreens at health stores have natural ingredients. (Apx $7)

Supplements - Supplements is an umbrella term for using natural items to build health and wellbeing, such as vitamins. This can get expensive, so remember there are several ways to get around it. Buy in bulk is one, better yet, get others to form a local co-op to share the expense and effort. Some folks grow their own herb gardens. See if you can strike a deal with an independent health food store or herb shop in your area. Remember, you can get powerful good from a few powerful, but safe and simple things easily available at health food stores. Food-grade Aloe Vera, Hydrogen Peroxide, Bicarbonate of Soda, Kefir, and Apple Cider Vinegar have remarkable health-giving and healing properties. Health food stores usually have booklets of information for free. (Varies)

T - Talk Therapy - Everyone one knows you just feel better talking about something challenging. Thank goodness it's okay to get professional help if you need it, but they are "pricey." I found a group of mothers who had children with disabilities were a lot cheaper, and more practical about ideas and commonsense concepts. We got together for lunch while our children were in school, and the working moms could join us then, too. Talking to Rod helped me, even though he tried to "fix it all" and couldn't. (Free)

Tapping - Meridian Tapping Techniques (MTT) is an umbrella term for a variety of methods which activate or balance our energy and emotional centers. This concept is gentle with light tapping of the fingertips on certain parts of the body, making it easy and accessible for anyone to learn. You don't need to know the exact places, intention is enough. Two I have taken classes on, now have free info. on the internet: The Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) and Tapas Acupressure Technique (TAT). (Free and easy)

Teeth - Unfortunately, this is a common problem among the population with various special needs. They usually don't brush properly, floss at all, or eat well, so their teeth are a challenge. One of the biggest mistakes we made with Heidi was to have dental fillings with silver amalgam, because they now have proven the fillings emit a mercury vapor which is very serious for humans on various levels. Heidi's lab tests indicated she had abnormally high mercury levels. So we had the dentist replace the gray ones with the less toxic white composite dental fillings. This procedure was covered by her Medicaid card, so for her it was free. However, we would have done it anyway. Lots of natural health care providers strongly recommend this. We say it really did helped diminished her high anxiety symptoms and she was able to stop running away, take naps, and sleep better at night. (A lot, but worth it, we feel)

Thoughts - Thoughts are so powerful, more than we realize. A very high percentage of communication is non-verbal. I have read many individuals with special-needs can intuitively hear and feel other's thoughts. Heidi is one such person and on several occasions would talk about things we had never spoken of around her.  We really tried to say positive things and look to the future with optimism. Heidi could feel if a care provider or babysitter really wanted to be with her or if it was just a job. (Free & not so easy)

U - Under wires—Electro-magnetic pollution- Unfortunately, in this modern era, we are being bombarded with the frequency from sources of electro-magnetic pollution. Microwaves, portable phones, cell phones, computers, and large power lines were (and still are) a problem at our home. We choose to live here, so we try to adapt. Since I work a lot on the computer, I wear a special pendant created to neutralize electro-magnetic frequencies. When I don't wear it I really feel drained. Since Heidi watches a lot of movies on television good old-fashion Epsom salts in her bathtub would help with this. (Pendant $50, salts $2)

V - Visual Therapy - The eye can really trick the brain into thinking just about anything. Large pictures of nature have been proven to help patients recovering from serious illnesses. Individuals with autism have a tendency to worry and feel vulnerable. Be sure they are positive and peaceful. We found beautiful calendars with terrific pictures that Heidi seemed to like. (Cheap & easy)

Visualizations - All successful athletes know the power of visualizing victorious outcomes. It's no different for you and me. This is a real challenge when life is daunting. Another really neat tool is to visualize, in an abstract manner, a situation using your imagination. For example, my girls loved going into a forest and having animals come forward and teach you wisdom, or traveling in a hot air balloon all over the world. Sometimes I would "go to" a peaceful cabin in the mountains, or visit a sunny beach. (Free)

W - Water Therapy - Water is so healing on every level. Of course we know how important to stay hydrated throughout the day. Toxicologists, today, confirm public drinking water has hundreds of chemicals including chemotherapy and prescription drugs, as well as insecticides and more. Through the years, we tried to get as good of a water filter as we could afford. Everyone knows water is calming. Heidi was especially happy and peaceful around any water: pond, fountain, stream, lake, pool, and ocean. (Free)

X - Xylitol - It's well established we have way too much high-fructose corn syrup, sugar, and artificial sugars in the standard American diet. These sweeteners can play havoc with the sensitive systems of individuals with autism. There are a few natural sweeteners which the body recognizes and handles better. Xylitol, Stevia, and Agave nectar are all products we use instead. These can all be purchased at a natural foods type store. Heidi can't tell the difference, but we can see the difference in her. (Under $10)

Xylophone /Percussion - When individuals have difficulty expressing themselves verbally, there is often frustration and acting out. Rhythm, tones, and performing are marvelous tools to help alleviate some of the dissatisfaction. We got Heidi a cute xylophone, bongos, and bells which seemed to amuse her. We are a musical family and I wanted her to feel included. (Approx. $10)

Y - Yelling Therapy - Sometimes you just need to let it all go and blow off some steam. The trick is to not do it around your loved ones. Here are some examples of places one might find solitude for venting your frustrations: in your car, in the mountains, and at the beach. You may find tears will follow this liberating activity. Your emotions are valid. Don't be afraid to express them out loud if you feel you can. There were times I would metaphorically and literally shake my fist to the heavens. This, too, is a normal reaction to pain, anguish, and bitterness sometimes found in this life. Later, I would fall to my knees and beg for help. (Free)

Yoga - Many people, the world over, have found this method to be extremely grounding, calming, and therapeutic. It is usually a technique to try to balance the body, mind, and soul. While I have not embraced this much, Rod has family members, with extremely stressful lives, who swear by it. Some like going to classes, while others prefer DVDs or doing their own version. (Varies)

Z - Zeolites - Scientist have determined zeolites come to us from the volcano ash mixed with sea water, and are an amazing combination which can pull heavy metals and toxins out of our bodies. The zeolite brand I'm familiar with is Waiora. The small drops are a kid-friendly way to help with the accumulation of heavy metals often found in children on the autistic spectrum.  (Approx. $50)

Zinc - Zinc is one of the most powerful minerals available to us. It has a host of benefits but the main one I will mention is that it helps build your immunity. Zinc comes in a verity of forms from food, drops, capsules, or tablets. When Heidi was a baby, I was given some good advice by another mother who had adopted a remarkable son with Down syndrome from Korea, named Reid. Against all odds, Reid was incredibly bright and healthy. His mother felt her supplementation of zinc was a real key. To be honest, I didn't follow her advice, and I do regret it. Perhaps that would have helped Heidi's suppressed immune system, which contributed to her adverse reaction from her Kindergarten vaccines. Who can say for certain? But after reading up on zinc, I do recommend it. ($20)

You can do these to help loved ones with special needs. - BE PROACTIVE !

Warmly,

Elayne Pearson
Mom on a Mission

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